Tag Archive for 'France'

NC Pt.VII – The Cemetery

The American Cemetery near Omaha Beach is quite impressive. It’s a vast area, and every single piece of grass looks like it’s been manually trimmed.

When we visited, the weather was perfect, but despite the warm sun, looking at the thousands of crosses wasn’t exactly making me feel chipper.

Nevertheless, it’s really one of a kind, so I recommend it to everyone visiting the Normandy.

NC Pt.VI – Photo ops are timeless

Along the Normandy landing beaches are many memorials commemorating D-Day in 1944. In case you’re unfamiliar with the whole scenario, here’s the Wikipedia entry on Operation Overlord, as the Battle of Normandy was codenamed.

The image above is of photos attached to walls next to one of the large monuments along the coast. I like the way they put them up without any sort of protection, apparently years ago, and they are still there. Goes to show that there are some things immune to vandalism.

Or they just put up new ones every year and wipe them with wet tea bags to make them look old.

NC Pt.V – Beach houses

I’m getting more unimaginative by the second. Hence the headline.

We spent quite some time driving along the coast of lower Normandy. We stopped at a few places to have a cup of awful French coffee* or just amble along the sandy beaches (diligent readers may by now have noticed the change from “stony” to “sandy” – that’s the basic difference between upper and lower Normandy right there).

The above picture was taken somewhere along Juno Beach.

*I need to say a word about French coffee. The stuff they give you when ordering, say, a Cafe Creme, is more or less undrinkable. I’ve read some time ago, that in France, the robusta bean is dominant, and since robusta is really quite bitter, that would explain the taste. But why oh why has nobody ever complained about the shitty, shitty taste? Is it really so difficult to get some bean that doesn’t remind people of tar pits when having a sip? I don’t get it.

NC Pt. IV – Beach House

Fed up yet? Yes, didn’t think so.

We spent a considerable amount of our time inside the car, but we made sure we only went to the greatest of places. Since another considerable amount of time was spent hunting for and then consuming food, it won’t surprise you to hear that we bought a baguette at a local boulangerie and then drove about another twenty miles until we had found the perfect spot to have our little picnic. What I’m trying to point out here is the fact that we didn’t eat just about anywhere. Actually, we missed having our picnic twice because we were so selective about these places.

The one shown above was fabulous. What you see is a house towering above a tiny stone beach near a place called St.Pierre sur Port (maplink)We sat there in our street clothes and snacked on the baguette while people took dips in the rather cold Atlantic. It was quite probably one of the best places for a picnic you could ever imagine (and only if your imagination was really, really good).

NC Pt.III – Les Andelys

After exactly 12 hours of travel, we had reached the Normandy. The first place we decided to look at was a town called Vernon. It turned out that the guide we were using didn’t mention the fact that on Sundays Vernon is a ghost town, and somehow it felt so eery that we decided to get into our car and leave.

Enter Les Andelys, the town that’s built below the castle that Richard the Lionheart used to call home (whenever he decided not to reside in England, which actually was just about most of the time he was king).

We had dinner at a fabulous little restaurant, and it was the first time I was able to show off my utter lack of polished French. Good thing I still remembered from my childhood days that pointing your finger at stuff is almost as effective as talking.




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