Monday, September 24, 2012

I'm back from Normandy!

Beware, long post!

So I'm back from our little trip to Normandy with the Gypsy Caravan. My sweetheart and I had a great time and wonderful weather, which is rare in Normandy. Lots of sunshine and only a couple of cloudy and rainy days/nights.

We left on Monday September 10th around 11 a.m., because my sweetheart had to bring his dog to the dog pension first. We then had to make a detour to pick up the new shed for our caravan. It was already in the afternoon when we finally drove our car and Gypsy Caravan in the right direction: France! We made it into the Northern part of France and set up the Gypsy Caravan in Aubigny au Bac just for one night and unpacking just the most essential stuff.

The next morning we left early on our way to the second camping side in Heuqueville near Etretat where we arrived by the end of the afternoon. It was a perfect day to travel because it was raining a lot! We stayed there for 2 nights and visited Etretat the next day when the sun was shining.

The beach and white cliffs of Etretat.

Woodwork on a house in Etretat.

On our way to the camping side we past by this nice looking chateau.

The next day we hit the road again, but this time took the time to visit some nice villages on the way to our third camping side. 

First we visited Honfleur.

And we also went to Trouville, where I spent a couple of days in a house on the beach in the early 80ties, when I was working for a French family. 

We arrived quite late on the camping side and it was dark by the time we had installed ourselves. 

The next day we first went to Bayeux where we wanted to visit the museum with the tapis de Bayeux.
It was too dark inside the museum to take pictures but this is a photo from a small scene of the tapestry I found on the web.

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I thought about buying a packet with pattern and wool thread in the museum, but it was very expensive so I passed. A couple of days later however I found a small shop near the Cathedral of Bayeux where the prices were much lower and I ended up buying one of the patterns the shop owner/artist made herself using the Bayeux stitch. It will be my evening project during this Winter.

I bought this owl.

The lady I bought it from also sells online over here.

The museum of the Tapis de Bayeux.

A lovely statue near the museum.

Some woodwork on the Bayeux houses.

The cathedral of Bayeux.

I love this statue!

An old house in the center of the city.

Watermill near the center of the city.

 When you visit Normandy you can't escape from what happened there in 1944: D-day. Right behind our third camping side in Colleville sur Mer starts Omaha beach. 

Here was the first large German strong point captured.

Some other photos taken on Omaha beach near our camping side.
Watch the rainbow on the first photo. I only discovered it when editing the photos this afternoon.

We decided to stay a little bit longer in Colleville sur Mer because we liked the camping side a lot and from there it would take us about an hours drive to visit the other locations we wanted to visit.

The next photos are taken at Point du Hoc where there are lots of bomb craters left from D-day. 

On day 7 of our vacation we went to Mont St. Michel. We first stopped by this nice castle at Colombieres. It was a bit disappointing that it was closed in the morning.

We took the Highway to get as quickly as possible to the Mont St. Michel but for the last couple of miles we took a small road to get this nice view of the Mont. 

At Mont St. Michel we took the bus to get to the 'island'. It's very impressive to stand there at the bottom of the buildings built on the Mont St. Michel!

It's even more impressive when you stand on top of the Mont outside the cathedral!

Here are some photos of the inside of the Cathedral. It's huge and you could easily get lost in it!

We bought a souvenir in one of the shops in the small streets of Mont St. Michel.

Because the water was low we could take a walk around the island.

I love this side of the Mont St. Michel!

 Final photo of the Mont St. Michel.

The next day we stayed close to the camping side and visited the American cemetery and War museum at Colleville sur Mer. It was very impressive and moving to see all those white crosses of the men who lost their lives during D-day and the months after.  

This photo is taken from the inside of the War museum overlooking the sea. It was a bit of a rainy day with just a few rays of sun. 

The weather got better in the late afternoon. This is me outside our Gypsy Caravan, cooking on a vintage table with hanging cabinet that my parents used on our camping trips when I was a little girl! 

The next day it was sunny and warm again and we decided to make the trip to Point de la Hague, the extreme West point of Normandy.
Here are just a couple of the photos that I took that day.

This is the house of the famous French poet and screenwriter: Jacques Prevert. He died the year I went to France working as an au-pair (1977).

Cap de la Hague, my sweetheart and Nez de Jobourg.

To end this perfect day we went to a restaurant in Grandcamp-Maisy where they serve very yummy desserts! When we left the restaurant we saw this lovely scenery of the port and the clouds.

The next day we left Colleville sur Mer with our Gypsy Caravan and drove up North again. We went to Le Treport. Actually we stayed on a camping side in Criel sur Mer, which is very close to Le Treport.

The view we had from our Gypsy Caravan in Criel sur Mer.

Le Treport.

Belle Epoque houses in Mers les Bains.

The beach of Mers les Bains with on the right a view on Le Treport.

This was somewhere between Le Treport and Criel sur Mer. If you look closely you can see that the shed of the house on the right has lost a piece of wall. Those cliffs are very dangerous because they're made out of limestone!

In the afternoon we packed up the Gypsy Caravan for the last time and left Normandy. It took us about 8 hours to get home again. 
We have been so lucky with the weather during our vacation. Today I found out that temperatures over there have dropped quite a bit after we have left.

Our next trip with the Gypsy Caravan will probably be to a warmer area of France. Maybe in the early Summer of next year ... I can hardly wait! 


Marit said...

Ha Anniek... De gypsy caravan heeft zijn eersten (nou ja, JULLIE eerste) reis er dus opzitten.. en hoe! Wat geweldig om je hele reisverslag te lezen en al die prachtige foto's te zien. Zee, kliffen, stranden - ik krijg er nooit genoeg van! Geniet nog maar lekker na, en volgend jaar weer!

Joyce van der Lely said...

Oh Anniek, thanks for posting all these photos, took me right back on my memory lane to Normandy and France. Ah.....les memoires xxx