Saying Au Revoir to Normandy

Overall we had a lovely time in Normandy – it was a beautiful little relaxing road trip taking in both historical sites and cultural /foodie ones. Plus copious baguettes, fromage and sunsets of course!

This proves that holidaying needn’t be long-haul or expensive – some of the best holidays are just taking the ferry over the English Channel and pottering about. Continue reading

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Is this the Most Beautiful Village in France?

When I read about Les Plus Beaux Villages De France (the most beautiful villages of France) I was intrigued. France is pretty beautiful at the best of times, but it seems they have selected the cutest little chocolate-box villages to promote for tourism. We visited Beuvron en Auge in Northern France.

We had to take a real detour to get there through country roads, but were really glad we made it. And to our surprise there were a dozen other tourists there too, but luckily it was still an unspoilt quiet village. Continue reading

Horsing around at the Haras National du Pin

When I read of a large stud farm comprising a beautiful chateau, where the royal horses are bred, where you can tour the stud farm (and visitors apparently studiously ignore the stallions mating!), I was immediately keen to visit – we love doing things which are different, and this certainly sounded different!

This place is known as the Versailles for Horses due to its grandeur! It used to breed the Royal Horses, but today hosts stallions owned by private breeders. Continue reading

Our Cheesy Pilgrimage to Camembert, France

The cheese tour continues – we recently visited Roquefort, France to visit the cheese caves due to my devotion to Blue Cheese. So now it was time to visit Camembert, in northern France. I was so excited to be there!!

Camembert is a tiny village with just a few houses, a church, a town hall, and for tourists, a small Camembert Museum and a visitors centre. We visited both, obviously. Continue reading

A Tapestry of Sights in Bayeux

I have been to Bayeux a few times, both to see the famous Bayeux tapestry and also just to look round the town. So on this trip we just had a quick stop.

Bayeux is famous for its Tapestry showing the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The tapestry is about 70 metres long so stretches all the way along a room. We visited when we were children. Our family walked the length of the tapestry looking at the various scenes depicted on it. At the end, my sister asked “so where’s the tapestry?” – the muppet had thought it was just a long sign 🙂  Continue reading

The Best Port in Port En Bessin

After our WW2 landing beaches tour we needed to get back to reality so we stopped at the pretty little fishing village of Port En Bessin. My BF and I climbed up a hill to watch the sunset and, after I had fended off a scary looking cat, it was a perfect moment.

Port En Bessin has a lovely harbour so we spent some time just sitting by the sea. We spotted a seal in the harbour so we were hoping he would come closer. Continue reading

Natural Beauty and Devastating History at Omaha Beach

The next stop on our road trip was Omaha Beach, site of the beach landings in WW2 in Normandy, France which marked D-Day.

Today the beach is marked by a stunning sculpture called The Braves to signify hope, freedom, and fraternity. It is also a lovely wide sandy beach, which doesn’t give any clue of its dark past. Continue reading

A story of American Bravery at Pointe du Hoc

Our first stop in France was Pointe du Hoc – a place which, amazingly I have never heard of (well, perhaps not amazingly as I’m rubbish at History). It is an incredible story of American bravery in WW2.

Pointe du Hoc itself is a headland sticking out into the English Channel, round the coast from Omaha beach. I can do Geography, but my knowledge of History mostly comprises a hazy memory of me dressing up as the Victorians aged 8. But I will attempt to do an idiots guide a guide (written by an idiot) to what happened here and you can research it more if you’re interested to find out all the historical facts. Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Ferry Crossings

If there are many ways to get from England to France (plane, rail, boat), I have certainly done my fair share of channel ferry crossings. I spent many of my childhood summer holidays in France so have crossed umpteen times. But that was as a child where I was shepherded from place to place in a blissful bubble. As a fully fledged adult, I am now aware of my surroundings, and have to take responsibility and be in control of everything! Since I’ve been in charge, I have done two such crossings; Dover to Calais, and Poole to Cherbourg. So what are the Pros and Cons?

Pros

No pesky luggage restrictions. Pretty much as long as you can fit it in the car it’s ok. So you can take that extra pair of shoes or two, and the warm coat, and even the tennis rackets or snorkel just in case! Continue reading