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Le Pont de Normandie Bridge

Le Pont de Normandie Bridge

In Le Havre, one of the scariest bridges I've ever driven across, a 165 foot high cable-stayed bridge.


The view from our window

The view from our window

We were staying near Cherbourg, at a gîte next to Le Manoir Dur Ecu.


The abandoned beach

The abandoned beach

This WWII structure was abandoned by the Germans, but still stands as a reminder of occupied France.


Omaha Beach

Omaha Beach

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.


La Pointe du Hoc

La Pointe du Hoc

Imagine the fighting as you walk through the German fortifications...


La Pointe du Hoc

La Pointe du Hoc

Rusted barbed wire, still in place decades after the invasion.


La Pointe du Hoc

La Pointe du Hoc

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.


Thanks

Thanks

On the beach at the American Cemetery.


A peaceful place

A peaceful place

The American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer


Crosses

Crosses

The American cemetery contains identical crosses, as well as Jewish stars, to commemorate the dead from the French operations.


The Wall of the Missing

The Wall of the Missing

At the American cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. Rosettes mark those since recovered and identified.


Roses

Roses

A variety of roses grow in the rosebed in the garden next to the memorial at the American cemetery. This variety was my favorite.


Notre Dame in Bayeux

Notre Dame in Bayeux

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.


Outside the Bayeux Tapestry

Outside the Bayeux Tapestry

The building that houses the Bayeux Tapestry, with a replica of the ship that William of Normandy sailed in 1066.


The Tapestry

The Tapestry

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.


French food

French food

This nation of gourmands prefers chocolate in their breakfast cereal.


All clear?

All clear?

The dog checks for any German soldiers who might still be hanging around. But only Daughter Number Two turned up, who was exploring inside.


Remains

Remains

There are still remnants of the German occupation on the beaches of Normandy, such at these concrete fortifications on the beach near our gîte.


Hay

Hay

Rural Normandy is charming, such as this scene right by the beach. Freckled Norman cows lived not far away.


Calla lilies

Calla lilies

These grew in the stream next to our gîte. A lovely sight every morning!


Ludiver Planetarium

Ludiver Planetarium

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.


La Cite de la Mer

La Cite de la Mer

This fish lives in the largest aquarium in Europe.


Across the street...

Across the street...

from our gîte.


Le Manoir Dur Ecu

Le Manoir Dur Ecu

The tower of Le Manoir Dur Ecu, which is more like an English castle than the French chateaux.


Le Manoir Dur Ecu

Le Manoir Dur Ecu

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

The Wheat Mill

The wheat mill for Le Manoir Dur Ecu, built in the 1820s, now a comfortable holiday gîte.


La Hague

La Hague

This view, identical to that on many postcards, was from a viewpoint a couple miles from our cottage, near Greville-Hague.


Fishing village

Fishing village

Near Omanville, this pretty fishing village was worth a stop, and a photo.


La Hague

La Hague

Cutting hay in La Hague.


La Hague

La Hague

We stopped here, in hopes of a pretty picnic spot, but it started raining.


La Hague

La Hague

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.


Nez de Jobourg

Nez de Jobourg

Ignoring the Danger! signs, the dog looks out beyond the cliffs.


Nez de Jobourg

Nez de Jobourg

Supposedly the highest cliffs in Europe, though the Rough Guide scoffs.


St Lo

St Lo

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 war memorial

St Lo war memorial

St Lo was 95% demolished during the invasion. Citizens hid in the caves, where wine was stored.


Le Mont St Michel

Le Mont St Michel

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.


"Our" stream

"Our" stream

The stream behind the gîte where we stayed.


"Our" boulangerie

"Our" boulangerie

The boulangerie/patisserie we visited every day, in search of delicious Boucheron bread. Except on mercredi, when it was closed.


Urville-Nacqueville

Urville-Nacqueville

The cemetery in the village of Urville-Nacqueville, where we stayed. (Not at the cemetery, silly, at a holiday gîte about a kilometre away.)


Ste Mere Eglise

Ste Mere Eglise

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.


Ste Mere Eglise church

Ste Mere Eglise church

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.