visit Normandy and D Day beaches
Favorite thing: and to follow up reconfirm, yes for the D Day beaches Bayeux is the best central location and see the tapestry there of william the conqueror etc
the area of Bayeux tourist council
and my favorite site on DDay events and memories
The US cementary at Coleville sur mer is indeed a must
you have official information here
if you have a car, best way while there, then you can think of Saint Lô ,Villedieu-lés-poéles, Coutances,Fougéres, and the coast to Honfleur plus Rouen. YOu will get a complete feel of all of Normandie.
Fondest memory: D Day beaches Omaha and Colleville sur mer are awesome experience.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
- Family Travel
Walks in classy Deauville
Favorite thing: A nice town to walk with beautiful architecture and a beach town. We have come here as late as 2010 to enjoy the beach; and past by it many times. Its a lovely town with upscale amenities.
The beach is wonderful , great boardwalk and changes rooms with class a must with kids to taste la belle France.
Hotel Normandy Barriere from the casino folks this is a classic old hotel
The pleasure boat marina or port de plaisance, from 1866!
The Normand architecture of the city hall government building of course
And the wonderful old magnificent architecture Hotel Royal facing the sea. We indulge here for one night while testing the wonderful beach.All part of the wonderful Barriére casino hotel group
Fondest memory: the beach and the American cinema festival and the horse racing, and well the beach.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Walks of Basse Normandie II
Favorite thing: some misc photos of Cherbourg better to show them here, as any town nice walks and great water front as well
The place du théatre or theater square is wonderful with its majestic theater. Built end of 19C to on the site of the old grains market. it one of the last generation of Italianesque style theaters in France. Its interior decoration is from the school of the ones who worked at the Opéra Garnier Paris. The wonderful market is Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 8h30 to 16h15 sometimes to 17h15; all kinds of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, sausages, seafood/fish, bazaar, restaurant on site take home food, about 115 merchants great !
The wonderful seaquarium or Cité de la Mer here is nice, even if cannot find pictures of it. The shot from the pleasure marina Chantereyne to it is nice, and you should go visit the cité.
The church of St Michel of Cabourg,Became too small, the old church is replaced by a new building high at the beginning of the 19C. In constant evolution, the station sees succession different sites of improvement on the church until 1930. Admire also the liturgical clothings out especially in the sacristy.
Marcel Proust used to come here a lot. Marcel Proust (complete name : Valentin Louis Georges Eugène Marcel), born in Paris XVIe (quartier d'Auteuil) July 10 1871 ,and died in Paris November 18 1922. French writer where his principal work was À la recherche du temps perdu, publlished between 1913 and 1926. Even thought spent more time in Trouville sur mer.
the casino of Cabourg on promenade Marcel Proust. For the gamblers and a nice view of the beach.
Fondest memory: walk on the pl du théatre on market days thursdays. A visit to the aquarium cité de la mer is great for kids and adults, my kids love it.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Sight and walks of Barfleur
Favorite thing: wonderful one of most beautiful villages of France, Barfleur, in Basse Normandie region.
you have a wonderful harbor here with beautiufl quaint boats, always nice to stop by and take a break, then you have a famous lighthouse in Gatteville.
Great sights and lovely to stop by for a break in a nice town, you too will wish to take a break here.
The lighthouse of Gatteville is the second biggest in Europe! with 74,85 meters high , a stair of 365 steps, and the light from 52 Windows!. It was built between 1829 and 1834
A French site on its history
the tourist office has a bit less but in English
Fondest memory: walking up to the Gatteville lighthouse, an inspiration for painters and movie folks alike.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Historical Travel
Walks in Basse Normandie
Favorite thing: Some of the misc photos found and all have something nice about them in this region.
The hotel de ville of Alençon or city hall govt building. home of the mayor.
It is located at the Place Foch in a circular arch done from 1783 to 1788. At first ,only the central part was used by the mayor's office and then from the 19C the city of Alençon purchase the rest of the building. In 1966, while renovation were done, it was found 297 drawing posters by Charles Éléonor Dufriche-Valazé from 1793, députy of the Orne department in 1792 ,who took his own life in 1793.
Palais des Ducs of Alençon, built under Pierre II, Duke of Alençon between 1361 and 1404, dismantled in part under Henri IV, serving as repository of begging from 1768 to 1824, existing buildings represent only 10% of the original. There is du Châtelet, a curtain wall, the successful tour and a Postern; the courthouse dating from the first Empire is next. The palais des Ducs or palace of the Dukes remain a home where during WWII many people were tortured by the Gestapo. The house arrest of Alençon or old prison is not in used from 2010 , and it stays empty ,now locals are trying to preserve it with the help of the city of Alençon.
The tour des Beaux Regards is part of the ramparts done from Charlemagna period, and this particular tower, dominates the side the most solitary of the rock ,and the best views over a vast panorama of the valley of the Viré.
Not a walk but from the jardin des plantes of Avranches towards the bay and glorious morning of Mont Saint Michel. You can see it from the road and up above in the higher city too.
Fondest memory: always nice to walk around and take pictures! love the palais des ducs and hope it can useful for the tourist again.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
Favorite thing: This has nothing to do with favourite things or fondest memories!
It's a practical bit of information that could help you budget if you plan on visiting local museums and other attractions.
At over two dozen sites you will see the Normandie Pass advertised. You can buy this for 1 euro with your first full price entry ticket.
It remains valid between April and December in the year of purchase and gives you a discount off the full admission price at all of the partipating attractions.
Favorite thing: While the coastline is predominantly flat and dominated by the beaches and sand dunes, it becomes more rugged when approaching north of the Cotentin peninsula, with some spectacular cliffs.
A path runs all along the coastline in Cotentin, so one could walk all the way around it, but there are some spots easily accessible for a short several hours or a day hike.
Fondest memory: My preferred spots on the Manche coastline are :
Mont Saint Michel bay - while rather flat, nothing beats the views of the abbey and its rock
Carteret - around Cap Carteret, you can in a 3 hours walk see all what makes Normandy coastline - a natural harbour, cliffs, long beaches and spectacular sand dunes.
Cap de la Hague - the northernmost and westernmost tip of the peninsula - windswept cliffs, charming bays, its highlights are Baie d´Ecalgrain, Nez de Jobourg. And the view of all the ships plying the Manche canal.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
Favorite thing: Normandy sports the biggest tides in Europe (well, minimum in France), with the records being of 16m of height around Granville. What makes them impressive along the Manche shore is the fact that the seabed is rather flat, so these 16 or something metres of height represent sometimes more than 5 kilometres.
While the mechanism of the tide is known for a long time (old stories of the sea being a beast and the tide its respiration are no longer believed), it still continues to rhythm the life along the coast.
So one of the first things to catch is a calendar with hours and amplitudes of tides. The hours change every day, as the cycle of high tide and low tide is every 12h 25 minutes. The amplitude varies from 20 to 120, with anything over 100 being an exceptionally high tide and under 45 the water almost staying in place.
The amplitude is determined by the relative positions of the moon and the sun - when they are in line, the tide will be highest, if they are at 90 degrees, the tide will be lowest.
Fondest memory: The permanent change and the views of high or low tides is really fascinating. While the main photo shows the low tide in the Havre de Vanlee, the second one shows the high tide the same day, taken from the same spot...
Apple trees, apples and their produce...
Favorite thing: Apple trees are much more than a common sight in Normandy, it is more like an institution. But most of the apples is not meant to reach the table in solid form...
Everything begins with cidre (or cider), the produce of fermentation of apples in barrels, with just a refreshing gas (akin to a champagne or beer).
The cidre can be distilled to calvados (apple brandy).
And the cider whose fermentation was stopped by addition of some calvados is called pommeau. It is being rediscovered today and makes for a nice aperitif and is a wonder with foie gras or any apple dessert.
Fondest memory: Cidre from Normandy is often less clear than the one from Bretagne. The best ones are the ones directly from a farm (cidre fermier). And prefer the brut to any other...
Calvados can vary in quality and taste, some being transferred into bottle almost directly after distillitation, some being aged in wooden barrells, as a whisky or cognac. You can buy calvados of more than 20 years of age... In normandy it is always drunk straight, without ice.
And pommeau is best served chilled, being rather sweet.
Favorite thing: Low lying land and high tides created salted pastures or "pres sales". These are pastures, that are overrun by the sea at least six times a year, during highest tides. They can be found near the harbours, or havres - where a river travels up to the sea and that the high tides will travel upstream, covering all low lying planes.
An interesting sight in itself, the salted pastures are used to raise sheep. The salted water and deposits that the tide brings give another quality to the grass and the result is "agneau de pre-sale" - a delicacy of lamb, uncomparable with any other... (the price too, of course...)
Fondest memory: If self catering, nothing beats a rack of lamb of pre-sale, grilled, knowing exactly from which village it came.
In restaurant, you might come across this dish, but it is very rare, so if you spot a "gigot" from a lamb of salted pastures, do not hesitate...
Favorite thing: Bocage is an essential part of any Normandy landscape. A simple earthen wall upon which grows an impenetrable brush and tree one. It was being used since the middle ages to show the limits of the fields and has become a classic image of Normandy.
There was a campaign of destroying the bocage following the second world war, to enable farmers have bigger fields an optimise the usage. But they were soon replanted, when the cattle started being sick (basically catching cold). You will undoubtedly appreciate the windstopping powers of the bocage during your walks or rides.
During the Normandy campaign, bocage was used as a great means of defense by german soldiers - it effectively blocks the sight and when passing through, tanks lunch upwards, exposing their belly and being very vulnerable... At least until the allied engineers found the solution of welding to the front of Shermans iron "teeth" made from rails that simply uprooted the bocage in front of them...
Fondest memory: Besides making roads ressemble tunnels in places, bocages are a great source of raspberries in the autumn, so look carefully...
Favorite thing: The design of the village churches changed only slightly since the middle ages and they are an easily recognizable feature of Normandy landscape.
Built from grey granit or other stone, they offer few windows and ressemble medieval fortresses with their sturdy form and one tower.
The overall feal is slightly reminiscent of motte and bailey castles that littered Normandy and their early conquests...
Bouchots a moules
Favorite thing: Underwater (at least half of the time) farms for growing oysters and mussels litter the Normandy shore.
Farmers use tractors to go and fetch their produce on low tide, or flat bottom boats, that they will ferry to the sea by tractor when the tide is high - this use of tractors that litter the beach is something to recall you that it remains an agricultural country - both on land and on the sea.
You can spot different growing stages of mussels, with horizontal poles when they are small, then being moved to vertical ones, spiralled around them. In the middle, you will see some iron nets or cages, used to grow oysters.
Fondest memory: They are easily accessible on foot when the tide is sufficiently low. A very nice promenade goal, around 2 kilometers from the shoreline. It is just forbidden to pick any produce, even mussels lying in between the poles.
You can buy the produce direcly on the farms in the coastal villages or in any supermarket. The cost is far from prohibitive. Or you can go to "peche a pied" all by yourself...
Favorite thing: There are 8 havres (harbours), which are unique to the western coast of Manche. They are created on a place where a small river breaks through the dunes and comes onto the sea.
It is a unique environment, created by the mixture of sweet and salt water, high tides that can make the river run backwards from the sea and create a tidal wave (mascaret), low lying salted plains that are flooded during high tides and serve as pastures for sheep and home to many bird species (more than 200 only in the Havre de Regneville).
From south to north, you will find the following harbours :
Havre de la Vanlee
Havre de Regneville
Havre de Blainville
Havre de Geffosses
Havre de Lessay
Havre de Surville
Havre de Port Bail
Havre de Barneville-Carteret
Fondest memory: In the past, these harbours served as natural harbours and were also used to exploit salt and tangue (earth from the bottom of the sea, used as fertilizer).Related to:
The gentle climate along the coast
Favorite thing: Due to the sea's presence and the (little) effect of the warm current in the Atlantic, Normandie's coastline has a very soft climate. Temperatures hardly ever go sub zero and almost never top over 25 degrees. Therefore the region allows many (sub)tropical plants to grow here, which can be seen in some exotic gardens along the coast of Normandie or around castles or mansions.
Route Du Mont Saint Michel BP8, Mont-St-Michel, 50170, France
Satisfaction: Very Good
Good for: Business
I would recommend this 3 star hotel to anyone staying in Bayeux. It is an old townhouse which has...more
I use for years all over the world the ACCOR chain of hotels, and have been fantastic. I am a...more
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