I neglected to say I have to leave to check into lodging I booked off island (for the reason I stated). So I expect to get there in time to tour the abbey before it closes, go check into my place, get dinner, then head back afterward. I'm more of an up early than up all night person. If the ramparts are lit and the shuttles are running until midnight, that's plenty for me.
I think the tide is interesting, if I can see it. I looked at the tide tables. It looks like Sept 20th, the tide will be high 2233, about 13.65 meters, and the access "might" be covered "for awhile" from 12.85 meters. It says to watch the rising tide you need to be there about two hours before high tide to watch the water coming in, so about 8:30 pm. Sunset is just about then, moonrise about 10 with a fairly big moon. Can anyone report on what they saw looking out to the bay in the evening and from where?
If I need to be on the island by then, I'll probably end up eating there. I'm traveling solo so my ideal eating is either take out, picnic or a cafe with people watching from an outside seat.
I'm showing my planning side. I plan like crazy to know all the how, what, why, when, where's before I'm on the road. I actually relax a lot on the road. I don't try to see everything. My natural pace is pretty hard to keep up with but I'll stop and rest if I feel like I need it. I'll also skip a major sight in favor of something different if I'm getting burnt out on, say, churches, museums or castles.
I always want to know the trade-offs in advance (will this be worth missing that?). It goes back to a time years ago when a friend of mine from college and our wives visited Okinawa as part of a long (both time and distance) vacation in Asia that included Korea, the Philippines and Japan. We didn't know much before we got there, so we hired a taxi driver to show us around the island. The guy showed us nightclubs, strip bars, pachenko palaces (gambling) - all the things he thought military guys in their 20's wanted to see. It wasn't till I got home that I read about a well preserved 15th century shogun's palace on the island. That would have been by far my top must see and I missed it.
I learned three valuable things from that trip:
1. Pack light - Just one example was the full SLR and equipment bag I packed. My friend had only a small all in one Canon. My pictures were great; so were his. Mine weren't worth lugging the extra weight. Today, I still bring a camera (rather than just a smart phone) but it's the smallest one that has the features I'll take advantage of. Right now it's a Canon Power Shot Elph 520 HS. I've had it at least a couple of years and I love it! I put a neck lanyard on it an either keep it in a shirt pocket, tucked inside my shirt, or in a pocket inside a jacket.
2. Know what you would like to see before you get there. Don't land then start planning, that wastes valuable time on the road. Even if you change your mind, know your options.
3. Keep your trips easy geographically. Don't fly all over the place to see a jumble of sights and cultures - focus.