Today was a rest day. We spent the entire day looking around Honfleur and enjoying the town by foot. Today was also market day and the streets were filled with vendors of all types – vegetables, meat, seafood, flowers, cheese, and other merchandise as well. We spent the morning walking through the various stands and examining the goods. Here’s a small selection:
I also took some more pictures of the harbor this morning…. this time without many of the boats there. Although it looked as though it were going to rain all morning, it didn’t and I think the light was good. What do you think?
We had lunch in town…. very simple, I had oysters to start with mussels and french fries and Rich had entrecôte steak with fries. We sat next to a British family that was vacationing in the area – mom and dad with two kids from London, his mother from Scotland and his great uncle from Australia. Turned out that his great uncle comes here all the time because he was part of the unit that liberated the first bridge – Pegasus Bridge – during the D Day invasion. It was fascinating to hear that. He’s always welcomed as a hero when he visits – it was great.
It started to rain so we walked back to the hotel. As it turned out, it would rain the rest of the day without much let up. Not too much of a problem today because we were intending to rest today anyway.
We had one of our last gourmet meals tonight at the hotel restaurant. It was great. I, of course, took a few pictures of the food and the restaurant itself:
We leave tomorrow morning for Maastricht in the Netherlands. We’ll back to France in another week or so. Our journey continues.
We left Dinard fairly early and drove to the D Day sites in Normandy getting there around 11am. We first went to Omaha Beach where the Americans had the toughest battle. There’s a memorial on the boardwalk and then a steel or metal sculpture on the beach itself. The view was amazing and luckily, the weather was accommodating.
While we were on the beach, there was a van with speakers playing American patriotic songs – Sousa marches, Dixie, and others – kinda cool.
We left there and drove to the American Cemetery. There’s first a museum with actual footage of the war, specifics around the D Day invasion and other interesting stuff. You then move on to the cemetery. First of all, the placement of the cemetery with a spectacular view of the Channel is breathtaking. It was exactly what I had anticipated and then more. You then see the white crosses that represent the thousands who lost their lives in the war. It is so moving and beautiful at the same time. The grounds are immaculate.
It started to sprinkle just as we were getting ready to leave but it never really rained….. yet! Let me describe how the rain occurs in this part of France. One minute everything looks fine…. puffy clouds, blue sky, everything’s ok. Then in a matter of minutes, you hear thunder and the heavens open. Once you hear the thunder coming, you have only a minute or so to find cover. We discovered that when we got to our next stop at Bayeux.
I had always heard about the tapestry of Bayeux and wanted to see it. It was incredible and an insightful perspective on the Norman invasion of England in 1066 and William the Conqueror. It’s a fascinating historical depiction of the event on a linen cloth that is hundreds of feet long. The tapestry is exhibited in a circular museum so you can see the entire piece. Amazing. We also got to see the Bayeux Cathedral – Notre Dame – and it was also quite stunning. Here are a few pics of the cathedral…. I couldn’t take any of the tapestry:
After Bayeux, we drove to our hotel in Honfleur. Honfleur is the small town near Le Havre that was home to many of the impressionists including Monet. The harbor itself was the subject of many of the artists. Apparently the light is very special. Since we arrived so late today, I didn’t get a chance to capture the light of the impressionists but I took a few shots to demonstrate the beauty.
And then there’s the guy who was taking home the famous baguette for his dinner. Obviously one wasn’t enough!!
That’s all for today. I’ve been drinking a little of the Calvados that the hotel has given us so the uploading of pictures has been a little more fun tonight – ha ha! As you can see, we had a very busy day in and out of the car. By the way, Anette, you had asked to see a picture of the car – our Peugeot. It’s actually a great car, runs on diesel and is fairly easy to drive. Marie has been a little more obedient lately so we let her speak her piece…. sometimes. If anyone asks me directions in French, I now have all of the answers, thanks to Marie. Good night!