Holiday pics from Normandy

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We spent halfterm in France, in the Calvados region in Normandy, near the D-Day landing beaches. This is Gold beach at Arromanches, one of the British landing beaches. The structures you see in the distance are the remains of a Mulberry Harbour, which was a temporary harbour constructed during the allied invasions. 

American cemetary

This was one of the most moving places we visited: the American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach. More than nine thousand crosses mark the graves of the soldiers that lost their lives during the invasion. We were there the day before the anniversary, and the graves were marked with French and American flags. There’s a cliff that overlooks the beach, with a steep path down to the beach, and it gives you a sense of the enormous challenge these soldiers faced.


I had to add a pic of this Bar Restaurant near the D-Day beaches in Saint Laurent Sur Mer. Quite possibly the WORST meal I have ever eaten in my ENTIRE life (and that includes Scotland in the 80s!) A microwave hamburger that was in the microwave a little too long and rancid chicken. In France! I shudder as I write this…

Here are the famous waterlilies at Monet’s garden in Giverny. The gardens were a bit of a drive from Houlgate (1 1/2 hours) but well worth it and late May is a great time to visit. I’ve visited the gardens before in August and it was heaving. In May it is quiet and there are irises, wall flowers, violets, roses…


…oh, and the peonies!


This is on our trip to Bayeux, mainly to see the famous Tapestry. There is also a large cathedral there, with lovely stained glass windows.


And one cannot have a trip to Normandy without visiting Honfleur, possibly the most picturesque town on the coast. Monet and his buddies used to hang out here and paint.


My personal favourite: the beach in Deauville! We rented an umbrella, deck charis and brought a picnic lunch that included a chilled bottled of chardonnay. Perfect!

I reviewed Keycamp and the Citroen C4 Grand Picasso while I was there … check out those posts if you are so inclined.

How was your half term?

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  1. 15/06/2010 / 03:02

    Have very happy memories of a similar vacation when I wa about the age of your eldest. Lovely.

  2. 14/06/2010 / 22:04

    Great pictures and words. We did this exact trip (apart from the Monet gardens – which I really wanted to see) a year or so ago and it was really moving and deeply affecting. My son was studying WWII at the time. We stayed in Deauville, saw the Bayeaux Tapestry (he loved the audio recording for children) and visited a lot of the beaches and cemeteries. I think it’s really important for them to see it and understand it. But it was a really good holiday as well though. And luckily we missed that restaurant!

  3. 14/06/2010 / 19:27

    Love that last picture. You’ve just reminded me that I have to renew the kids passports if we want to go to France this summer!

  4. MommyTime
    14/06/2010 / 15:23

    What an absolutely lovely sounding holiday! You are inspiring me to do more long-distance traveling with my own children.

  5. A Modern Mother
    14/06/2010 / 06:59

    @califlorna — I’m guessing the weather was not so great then?

  6. A Modern Mother
    14/06/2010 / 06:58

    @Mwa it was a bit of a trek — but my mother was visiting and really wanted to see it.

  7. 14/06/2010 / 05:17

    We spent Easter in Normandy. The American cemetery and Omaha beach were very moving. I thought the museum was very well done.
    Glad you enjoyed the rest of the trip as well.

  8. 13/06/2010 / 20:42

    I loved Monet’s garden as well.

  9. A Modern Mother
    13/06/2010 / 07:26

    @english mum I think those beaches are a great history lesson for children, it raised all sorts of questions with my chidlren too (ages 5, 6 and 8). OK, mainly from the 8-year-old.

  10. 12/06/2010 / 22:34

    My oldest (15) says he actually felt really moved when he visited Omaha Beach. Sounds like you had a blast 🙂

  11. A Modern Mother
    12/06/2010 / 15:31

    @nappyvalley The moules WERE extraordinary (and the Normandy tarts). I think we were lucky with the weather.

  12. A Modern Mother
    12/06/2010 / 15:30

    @rosie I Heart CenterParcs!

  13. nappyvalleygirl
    12/06/2010 / 14:19

    Nice photos. I spent a very rainy week in the same region when I was a student. Because it was so wet, we spent the entire time eating moules marinieres and drinking cider and calvados…..great holiday, though.

  14. 12/06/2010 / 11:04

    Lovely photos. Very moving. We spent half term im Centre Parcs, again!