The plan to go to Normandy, was solely based off of my desire to see Mont Saint-Michel. You can see all about that here: Mont Saint-Michel
Visiting the rest of Normandy, I figured, was an added bonus. Seeing Cathédrale Notre-Dame, in Rouen, which is the tallest church in France, was breathtaking. Monet painted the outside, countless times, but the inside is jaw-dropping. Under the clock tower is a site like no other, with the good shepherd and his sheep. I’ve really learned to always look up when I’m traveling, or otherwise I would miss the most interesting pieces of art.
We had some amazing crepes, made by this sweet woman, next to the Church of St. Joan of Arc. This is the spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, in 1431. I learned a great deal that I didn’t know about her while I was there, including that there are many theories that most of her legacy is all myth. Check out that staircase ^
We stopped by the town of Honfleur, where the Seine river meets the English Channel. We walked along the harbor, before heading to the back streets. We always try to get out of the bustle of the the tourist crowd, and explore the quieter areas of the cities that we visit.
Although we really only used Deauville, as a place to spend the night, I did take a couple of hours to walk around the town. It’s a popular seaside town, that is known for it’s casino, horse racing and the American Film Festival that is hosted here. I wouldn’t have minded staying a day here but it wasn’t part of the plan, so I tried to soak up as much as I could, with a quick walk around town.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Museum
The next morning, we woke up early and headed to Omaha Beach, site of the D-Day landing. We visited the American Cemetery and the really interesting museum there. I could easily, go back to Normandy again, just to visit more World War II sites. I have been reading many books and watching movies about WW2 the last few years, and I think it would be fascinating to see and learn more.
Bayeux, which is mostly known for the Bayeux Tapestry, is not far from the D-Day Beaches and happens to be the spot where I had the most amazing Galette for lunch! It was Tandoori, with shrimp, pineapple, onion, and mozzarella cheese. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture of it but I did take a picture of the menu. Goto Moulin de la Galette, if you ever have the chance! Although the tapestry is what everybody goes to Bayeux to see, I have to admit, that I was not interested in seeing it, at all. I’m sure that makes me some kind of an uncultured heathen, but I was much more interested in checking out the cathedral. I’ve honestly never met a church, that I didn’t enjoy, at least for a quick glance. This one is a stunning display of gothic architecture, and you can even visit it’s treasure room, below the church. I have to really give props to Fujifilm, because my camera was literally taking pictures in the dark. The detail in the pictures, could not be seen with the naked eye!
I couldn’t put my finger on it, but I didn’t really enjoy Saint-Malo, in the same way that I enjoyed the other sea-side towns. We visited the Saint Malo Cathedral, tried a very tasty kouign amann, which is the round desert that you see below. I didn’t feel that there was much to do, other than shop, which isn’t really my scene. We took a quick walk around the fort and decided to just grab something to eat before we left. We had met two nice women from Australia, and they were eating at a seafood restaurant, so we decided to try it as well. I got the moules et frites, which is muscles and fries. I ate the mussels and Amy snacked on my fries since she wasn’t very hungry. That is pretty much our Normandy experience. It’s one of the most fascinating trips that I have taken. Mont Saint-Michel and Giverny are covered in two other posts, in case you are interested. I’m going to try and blog about the Loire Valley next!