In Le Havre, one of the scariest bridges I've ever driven across, a 165 foot high cable-stayed bridge.
We were staying near Cherbourg, at a gîte next to Le Manoir Dur Ecu.
This WWII structure was abandoned by the Germans, but still stands as a reminder of occupied France.
La Pointe du Hoc is one of the main spots where Allied troops landed on D-Day. Deep craters mark where the Allies shelled the beach prior to landing.
Imagine the fighting as you walk through the German fortifications...
Rusted barbed wire, still in place decades after the invasion.
Colonel Rudder's Rangers took the stronghold here on the morning of June 6, 1944, as thousands of lives were lost. After landing by amphibious assault craft, they used ladders provided by the London Fire Brigade to scale the cliffs.
On the beach at the American Cemetery.
The American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer
The American cemetery contains identical crosses, as well as Jewish stars, to commemorate the dead from the French operations.
At the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Rosettes mark those since recovered and identified.
A variety of roses grow in the rosebed in the garden next to the memorial at the American cemetery. This variety was my favorite.
The cathedral in Bayeux, which some think was the original destination for the tapestry, though many historians cannot believe that the lewd depictions on the tapestry would ever have been welcome in a church.
The building that houses the Bayeux Tapestry, with a replica of the ship that William of Normandy sailed in 1066.
Don't tell anyone, but I took a photo of the tapestry. We were practically the only people in there, so no one noticed. I was surprised it wasn't a bigger attraction--I'd heard the place was often packed.
This nation of gourmands prefers chocolate in their breakfast cereal.
The dog checks for any German soldiers who might still be hanging around. But only Daughter Number Two turned up, who was exploring inside.
There are still remnants of the German occupation on the beaches of Normandy, such at these concrete fortifications on the beach near our gîte.
Rural Normandy is charming, such as this scene right by the beach. Freckled Norman cows lived not far away.
These grew in the stream next to our gîte. A lovely sight every morning!
Ludiver Planetarium was located a few miles from where we stayed, so we payed it a visit one afternoon. The exhibits were interesting, in both English and French, and included a fascinating display of sounds from outer space.
This fish lives in the largest aquarium in Europe.
from our gîte.
The tower of Le Manoir Dur Ecu, which is more like an English castle than the French chateaux.
The 16th century castle next door was a hot tourist spot. Cars would stop at the end of our lane, while people got out to capture just this shot.
The wheat mill for Le Manoir Dur Ecu, built in the 1820s, now a comfortable holiday gîte.
This view, identical to that on many postcards, was from a viewpoint a couple miles from our cottage, near Greville-Hague.
Near Omanville, this pretty fishing village was worth a stop, and a photo.
Cutting hay in La Hague.
We stopped here, in hopes of a pretty picnic spot, but it started raining.
Some of the most dramatic scenery in France is along the Cotentin peninsula coastline, known as La Hague. Too bad the nearby nuclear reprocessing plant means the beaches aren't safe for swimming.
Ignoring the Danger! signs, the dog looks out beyond the cliffs.
Supposedly the highest cliffs in Europe, though the Rough Guide scoffs.
The cathedral at St Lo was heavily damaged during the march toward Paris, while the town of St Lo was almost completely demolished. When restored, the cathedral was deliberately left with a plain green brick wall as a reminder.
St Lo was 95% demolished during the invasion. Citizens hid in the caves, where wine was stored.
We visited on a cloudy day, and when it started raining, bailed after proceeding only a short distance. It was overly-touristy inside, with gift shop after shop, and surly servers.
The stream behind the gîte where we stayed.
The boulangerie/patisserie we visited every day, in search of delicious Boucheron bread. Except on mercredi, when it was closed.
The cemetery in the village of Urville-Nacqueville, where we stayed. (Not at the cemetery, silly, at a holiday gîte about a kilometre away.)
A jeep full of soldiers was in the town square, near the church at Ste Mere Eglise. If you're looking for war memorabilia, this is the spot--the town square was full of shops with uniforms and other WWII gear.
If you saw the movie The Longest Day, you've heard of the horrible events during the heavy fighting of D-Day. Two paratroopers were entangled on the roof when they attempted to land, remaining suspended on the bell tower during the fighting. One of them, John Steele, returned every year to Ste Mere Eglise to commemorate his ordeal. Now a parachute and dummy paratrooper are permanently entangled on the tower to remember the event.