Today we eat a petite dejeuner at the hotel, in a very small little inner courtyard room neatly set in white, then off on the road to finish our D-Day homage in Normandy.
We have a little Garmin (GPS), with a chip for Europe which has been brilliant for even if and when we lose ourselves, she (named GyPSey) takes us down little country roads taking us where we want to be.
The first stop is Juno Beach and the British Military Cemetery, row after row of men, mostly 18 to 30 years of age – many “known only to God”. Our last stop is Omaha Beach and the American Memorial Museum and cemetery which are on the beach. The museum makes it is easy to imagine thousands of men, airplanes, and boats in the water in June 1944. At the museum, security is like an airport. The exhibits are incredible – we are often moved to weep.
Throughout this route we are on, we are constantly reminded that the French remember and revere their liberation by the Allied Forces – they do not take their freedom for granted and it is here, on these beautiful stretches of beach that a great force of evil oppression was finally turned back, at great cost. This countryside, so peaceful and green, was the site of incredible carnage.
We decide we need a change of pace so we move onto our next port of call, Mont St. Michel, a renowned image – a World Heritage Site. According to Celtic mythology, St. Michel was one of the sea tombs to which the souls of the dead were sent. The beginning was in 708, when a bishop had a vision of the Archangel Michel perched on a vanquished dragon (now the tip of the abbeys spire).
We planed to go on to Brest today, but rain and traffic are tiring. We take a chance and go to a Hotel name we recognize on the side of the road in a town not listed in The Lonely Planet – la Petite Lambelle. The Hotel is across from the train station and turns out to be the nicest room yet! A brasserie, just doors away serves dinner, but it is our first experience with a totally French menu and no English speaking staff. Mark makes a valiant effort at the language, but we both stumble in our choices hoping to chance whatever comes is good to eat. It is all utterly amazing food!
Every day we fall more and more in love with France:)