Normanday
Saturday March 29, 2003

Musée du Débarquement
Musée du Débarquement

23:30 Saturday - Le Mont Saint Michel - I just set my watch ahead, Europe goes to Summer Time tonight. I bet a lot of American & Canadian tourists don't know for a day or two.

This hotel has one English language TV channel, but it is showing soccer. 3 of the 7 channels have soccer, it must be an European Saturday night thing.

Today began with a visit to the Musée du Débarquement, about a block from my hotel. The museum was small but entertaining. It included two movies. One alternated showings between English and French, the other was in French but they provided head sets with a translation. The "Mulberry" harbor built here was pretty interesting and much larger than I realized. It was actually built in England, floated across the Channel and sunk in place. They created a major port in 10 days, while the war went on.

This morning was still very foggy and damp. It was more weeping than raining.

I drove west near the shore on D 514, a narrow road about the width of a single lane over here, often with stone walls to each side. My first stop was the Longues battery of 4 152mm German guns. Three are still in place. They were capable of shooting 12 miles.

Longues battery

The second stop was in the same community, Longues-sur-mer, at a small Brandy and cidre cave, Ferme de Félicité, next to a tiny cemetery. The proprietor didn't speak English, but after some gesturing and tasting, I purchased a case of 6 70cl bottles of their brut cidre.

Ferme de Félicité
Ferme de Félicité


This photo is take from the same point at the one before it - I just turned around

On to the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur Mer, the cemetery in Saving Private Ryan. Although most dead American service men were returned to the US, 9,386 are buried here.

OMaha Beach, Normandy, France
Looking down at Omaha Beach from the American Cemetary

Spirit of American Youth
"Spirit of American Youth"

American cemetery Normandy

Crosses at the American Cemetary at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach.

Then south wandering around Carentan and Periers, through Coustances and on to Averanches. The road was lined with people for 20 kilometers south of Coustances. Either they were waiting for a bicycle race or they all came out to watch the American drive through Normandy.

Norman cows

In Avranches I parked near the Patton Monument and walked through a small shopping district looking for a place for lunch. The restaurants were "fin" for the afternoon, so I  bought a sandwich from a bakery.

Patton monument Avranches
Patton monument


Avranches

Continuing on around the Baie du Mont Saint Michel, I found a picnic area and stopped to enjoy the sandwich and some cidre. Hundreds of sheep and lambs were playing in the fields next to the picnic area. I think that if it wasn't foggy, they would have made the foreground for a wonderful view of the Mont.

sheep on the salt flat

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Copyright 2003-2008 by Keith Stokes. email me at sfreader@sff.net or visit my home page.