So here it is, the long awaited Normandy blog. Ironically, if you look at Suzanne & Bevan's blog, its last entry is Normandy too - although that was last year. Anyhow hopefully I will get the other ones typed up and put up here fairly pronto - they are pretty much written, just finding the time and motivation to type them here is lacking.
So...since the last time - basically I worked Monday to Thursday at The Listening Company (the call centre I was at) and had arranged to have weekend (Easter) off, as I was heading to Normandy. The job I had had the interview for got back to me, starting on the Tuesday after Easter, so I had the pleasure of telling TLC I was leaving (for once it not being the other way around)
So on Thursday I left work early, and headed to Victoria Station, to the meet up point for my trip. Originally we were supposed to have had to go to Portsmouth and cross on the ferry there, sleep on the ferry, and wake up the next day in France. However it turned out we couldn't do that, so instead we had to go to Dover and cross there to Calais - which was actually better for us as we got to have a hotel bed to sleep in once we got to France - which in retrospect would've made the trip so much more comfortable (rather than fighting sleep the rest of it).We got a sleep in on Good Friday, as the Driver needed to have a certain amount of hours away from the wheel. Once we got going from our hotel (somewhere in a business park outside of Calais) we headed to Rouen, famous for being the town where Joan of Arc was executed. We had a bit of a walk around, saw the tower where she was imprisoned, the execution spot, and the general town. That day was a bit wet, while we were there, but fined up on our way to Caen, where our hotel for the following days was. Once we got there, my roommate for the weekend, his friend, and the tour guide had a wicked feed at a local restaurant. I chose the Ravioli (French) in a white sauce.
Saturday we headed to Le Mont Saint Michel - the main reason I chose the trip - an Abbey/Fortress. Totally awesome. After an hour or so of exploring that, we carried on to Saint Malo - a walled coastal town in Brittany - walled because of the tendency for Pirates to attack it back in the day. My first mission once getting there was to find a supermarket, which I did with the help of my guide, and bought bread, salami, and Camembert for lunch (and subsequently dinner, and lunch the next day too - Camembert actually tastes best when it's been out of the fridge for a while, so I've discovered) Once satisfying my hunger, I had a look at a ship moored there, walked around the wall and explored a fort on the beach. From there we went home to the hostel. I decided to have a quiet one, to save some money, but also to catch up on some sleep. Sunday we got up early-ish, and headed to Bayeux - we started at the British (and its colonies) WW2 cemetery. From there we went and checked out the Bayeux tapestry - which depicts the Norman Invasion of Britain in 1066 - it basically gives the whole history over its length.From there, because we were running ahead of time, we went to the German cemetery, before heading to Omaha beach and the American cemetery.From there we went to Arromanches/Gold Beach - where the Allies built the Mulberry harbour - an artificial harbour, and saw the museum and the remainder of the harbour.When we came back to Caen, a couple of the others and I checked out the Chateau (castle) and walked back to the hotel. We later went out to dinner with a lot of the others. I had Beef with mushrooms with a red wine sauce. Totally delicious.
Monday we headed back to Calais to cross back to England - on the way stopping at Honfleur - a beautiful coastal village.