But, things with us are never straightforward are they? So it's not a simple matter of hopping on a flight and landing somewhere in the coast of Normandy. Oh no. That is for the normal people. And those that don't live in Bucharest- A city that doesn't have direct connections to most of the world. So, it was a flight to Brussels at unGodly hours and then about 5 hours by car to Caen.
As few minutes of resting and we headed off to Omaha beach. (Yes, we do tend to move quickly. The resting can continue in the car, is our line of thinking.)
But I'm so glad we made the effort...
|Some of the rations the WWII soldiers at the Memorial|
|The French resistance, apparently they had their own insignia :)|
The Memorial itself had a load of stuff that really brought home the conditions under which the d-day landing took place and the bravery of the individual soldiers. But it was the outside that robbed you of your speech. And really spoke about the price of the war.
Rows upon rows of crosses- or the start of David, all lives lost, just over a span of a few days.
|They've let nature take its course beyond the few metres of beach now. Nature, the eternal healer.|
|One of the WWII tanks on display.|
|Omaha beach - the actual site of the D-Day landings.|
|Loved the graffiti on this Caen wall.|
|Le Mont Saint-Michele. You can see how it would become an island when the tide comes in|
|I loved the narrow cobbled streets.|
|Steps of the Abbey|
|View from up top|
|Inside the abbey. It had a lovely rose garden|
|Such lovely, tall windows.|
|The slender double colonnade makes for a lovely play of light and shadow (that's my quota of 'lovely's done for this post, then)|
|Not much of the original tiling remains, but what remains of it is beautiful. (See? No more 'lovely')|
|Taps with character|
|An old well wheel. Don't know what it is with people and wells, but we found plenty of coins here as well.|
|The once-drawbridge now serves as a scenic backdrop to a coffee house|
|The tourist shops|
|This was inside a small church in town. perhaps not as old (17-18th Century), but just as beautiful.|
|A perfectly moulded wooden stopper for a stone vat|
|The stain glass depicting Saint Pierre, Patron saint of the local Parish|
|This place houses the names of all the engineers associated with building this structural masterpiece|
|getting to the bridge|
|Spotted some wildlife on our way across|
|Do you not love the Purple Minon staring at you?|
This also served as a driving break on our way to Étretat. We'd heard lovely things about the place. Especially about the cliff side hike along the coast. But the weather was a tad inclement to put it mildly. Lets just say that its a good thing we had a tight grip on my little one, otherwise we were looking at the very real possibility of a human kite.
The view however, was still beautiful.
|The cliffs of Etretat.|
|And the town below|
The town of Etretat itself was really pretty too. Unfortunately it was also French. Which meant everything was shut on a Sunday evening. But we did discover one wonderful chocolaterie which did the most yummy pastries, and that's what we ended up having for dinner. That and Pizza. We also fell in love with a local brand of crisps which did a delish mustard and pickle flavour. So yeah, totally healthy food options.
|The local Hotel. They didn't do early dinners.|
|Neither did this restaurant|
|Empty wine bottles. Carted like one would cart milk in India.|