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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Basse Normandie, France

Sep 18, 2016 - Normandy

September 17-18 Normandy Saturday morning and time to move on from my nice nest. I packed up and made a quick trip to the ATM, since the owners preferred cash payment. Then it was off to St Malo to explore the old city walls. More defenses against the attackers! It was also a home base for the ‘corsairs’, the state sanctioned pirates, who became quite wealthy. (Of course the British had privateers.) The city walls are over a mile around. I covered about ¼ of it, enjoying magnificent views of the sea. There are small neighboring islands also...

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France Road Trip Two

Sep 14, 2016 - On the road again: Giverny to Mont St Michel

We left Paris on Wednesday morning in a trek back to Charles de Gaulle to pick up a van for the next part of our journey. There are six of us traveling, and we have a nine passenger van to accommodate all of us, luggage, and a bit of extra leg room. We did learn some tips from our Rick Steves training; his tour buses always have extra room, and it makes a huge difference. We drove from Paris to Giverny, home of Monet, then continued on to Mont Saint Michel. Roger and I had been to Giverny before, but it is still as if we are walking into...

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Sep 9, 2016 - Bayeux and WW II museum

After a restful night next to the cows, we spent the morning in the WWII museum in Bayeux. The museum focused on the Normandy invasion and Bayeux's role in it. The British built "le bypass" since the roads in town were so narrow; the new road made it easier to get equipment moving. Until Paris was liberated Bayeux served as the capital of France. There was a film clip of De Gaulle coming to Bayeux after the invasion, and a lot of information about his role outside the country during the war. Under the Vichy government he was sentenced to...

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Sep 6, 2016 - Bayeux

After an easy drive of around 100 miles, we are in Bayeux. The countryside is lovely, lush and green. The corn is dry in some areas, but looked good on our route today. We arrived around 1 pm and headed to take a look at the Bayeux Tapestry which tells the story of the Battle of Hastings via a 1000 year old giant piece of embroidery. We moved along the tapestry with our audio guides describing the events of William the Bastard becoming William the Conqueror. The experience begins with a look at the tapestry, then there is an exhibition and...

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Jul 30, 2016 - D Day World War 2 landing sites in Normandy

Today was a very long day. We started off in the bus at 8am and returned at 6.30pm. Todays itinerary is to go to D Day landing sites of World War 11. There are 3 buses - 2 go to USA & British landing sites and the 3rd goes to the Canadian and British sites. We chose to go to USA landings, and most of the Australians were on our bus and the Americans who are on our tour virtually had a bus to themselves. This tour for them is 30 year reunion so they are very clicky and do not mix much at all with anyone else, hence on a bus by themselves....

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Jul 29, 2016 - Hornfleur

Today was a much easier day as yesterday was very long and a bit draining emotionally. The ship moved in the middle of the night to the medieval town of Honfleur (circa 1027)which is a delightful picturesque town on the river Seine. It is especially known for its old, beautiful picturesque port, which has houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind, who formed the Honfleur of school of art which contributed to the appearance of...

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Jul 25, 2016 - Bayeux - Normandy

Today we boarded the bus at 9am and departed for Bayeux. On the way we stopped for a tour of the Caen Memorial. This is a museum commemorating the second World War and the Battle for Caen. The memorial is dedicated to the history and violence, and conflict in the 20th Century and particularly World War 11. It was opened in 1988 (44th anniversary of D day) by the French President Francois Mitterand. Some of the pictures are quite confronting and gave you a very sad eerie feeling. There were of course a lot about the French history of the...

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Jul 23, 2016 - St Malo to Mont St Michel

Today was a big day. We went to Mont St Michel. This particular area of France is called the foodland of France. It grows almost 70% of all of its vegetables, dairying, eggs, lamb etc. The ground looks very fertile and there are farms everywhere with produce growing. "Rising from flat white sands, the abbey sits atop a small island encircled by stout ramparts and battlements, connected to the mainland by an old causeway. Legend has it that the abbey was founded in the 8th century, when Aubert, the bishop of Avranches, was visited by the...

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Jun 19, 2016 - Mont Saint Michel

The trip from Paris to Mont Saint Michel is pretty easy. You board the train in Paris, switch in Rennes, disembark in pontorson and board the shuttle bus for the short ride to the Mont. There are some hotels on the Mont itself, but we opted for a hotel in the small village of Beauvoir, about half way between pontorson and the Mont. The hotel also had a restaurant and was very quiet. Pontorson is about 12 km from the Mont. The river Couesnon runs past pontorson and is one of the three coastal rivers that empties into Mont Saint Michel bay. A...

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Lavender's Travels

Apr 29, 2016 - Around and about Bayeux

Bayeux, France At one time, Bayeux was one of Europe’s leading lace-making centers. Over 15,000 women were employed making lace. There are 3 types of lace: Bayeux is made of white linen; Chantilly is made of black silk; Blonde is made of unbleached silk. The industry, around since the 17th century, died when mechanization came along. Lace making is still alive in Bayeux, however. We stopped in a small shop to watch lace being made and to check out the merchandise. One piece of lace for sale cost 232€ and took about 60 hours to complete. The...

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Normandy

Apr 28, 2016 - Mont Saint Michel

Bayeux, France A Gothic-style Benedictine abbey dedicated to the archangel St Michael built between the 11th and 16th centuries, Mont-Saint-Michel is visited by over 3 million people each year. This impregnable island stronghold is surrounded by a vast mudflat, sits high on a rock (302’) and can be seen for miles. The island has 3 parts: the fortified abbey high above, the small village with its narrow, cobblestone streets in the middle, and the lower-level fortifications. The tides can vary greatly, at roughly 50’ between high and low...

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Normandy

Apr 27, 2016 - Omaha Beach

Bayeux, France Five-mile long Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the 5 sectors of the Allied WWII invasion of German-occupied France on June 6, 1944. Because Omaha Beach has a 21’ vertical tide, we visited in the morning while the tide was out to see the beach as it was at the time of the invasion. The beach is broad and long. In 1944, it was full of obstacles, mines and wire put there by the Germans. Also the Germans had at least 85 heavy weapons and machine guns positioned on the high ground, enabling them to rain down about 100,000...

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Normandy

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