Saturday, 5 November 2011

France # 3 of 5 -- Deauville to Mont St. Michel

Our first stop out of Deauville was an American War Cemetery on the Channel.

This looks like an ordinary beach today but try to imagine what it looked like on D-Day, 1944. This was Omaha Beach, where the Americans landed.

As November 11th approaches, we're reminded again of how incredibly lucky we all are to be alive & free, thanks to so many.

A few of the graves had been visited recently.

Monument at the cemetery.

A German gun emplacement on a Normandy beach.

This is Gold Beach, at Arromanches, where the British landed on D-Day.

Remains of a Mulberry Harbour  that the British built and towed over to France to use as a port since the waters were too shallow for large ships.

They're huge.

These were strange.  There were 100s on the beach... "sand worms". But they're  not worms at all,  just sand. I couldn't find an explanation on Google. I think it might be a worm like sea animal that ingests the sand to get nutrients and excretes the sand afterward... I vaguely remember seeing something like that on TV.

Granville, our last stop on the Channel... the view from our hotel.

Jane found a local to chat with.

The casino we dropped some Euros at... too many, too quickly.

My favourite shot of Jane from the trip. I smile every time I look at it. She loves the sea like no one I've known.

As a prairie boy, I'm fascinated by what to many are simple things on ocean beaches. The bulbous part of this seaweed was surprisingly strong & buoyant. No wonder it can float "forever" on the water.

Mont St. Michel was a highlight of the trip. I'd seen lots of pictures of it over the years and was always fascinated by it. It didn't disappoint. The weather could have been better (it rained for the first half-hour or so), and was overcast, but that hardly hampered the experience.

From Wikipedia:
Mont Saint-Michel  is a rocky tidal island and a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre (just over half a mile) off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The population of the island is 41, as of 2006. The island has been a strategic point holding fortifications since ancient times, and since the 8th century AD it became the seat of the Saint-Michel monastery, from which it draws the name.

We were there at low tide but I found a couple shots on the web to see what it would look like at high tide.

The causeway to the island is going to be removed. It's caused silting over the years so it was decided to return it to it's more natural state. Visitors will be taken on a shuttle and over a foot bridge if I understand the plan.

View from afar.

From the same spot but a telephoto view.

There's only one street for the tourists to drop some Euros.

We bought some cookies.

It's a bit of a climb up to the abbey. Jane's pink umbrella was easy to spot if I lagged behind.

Old stone & bricks, worn & colored over the years... they have a warm feel to them.

The abbey.

The cloisters.

More weathered walls.

The ramparts... and the mudflats of low tide.

Apparently there have been a few cases of people not moving their vehicles in time when the tide came in... they do announce it over loudspeakers though. Those on the causeway itself are ok, but where the buses are and all the vehicles on the left would be under water.

The view as we left. It's a special place.

- fini -

If you're interested, here's the link for France #4 of 5: 

A link to my previous posts (non-2nd Marsh):

A link to my previous posts of 2nd Marsh:



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