Days 77 to 80 – Dinan to Honfleur

Day 77 – Dinan to Mont Saint-Michel

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After our by-now usual breakfast of croissants, breads and jam with coffee we headed west meandering gently through farmlands towards Erquy on the coast before turning north and east for Cap Frehel with it’s 3 light houses.

We followed the coast south and then east through Port-a-la-Duc (seriously) and on to Dinard where we enjoyed our french stick with salad overlooking this inlet. Too bad if you want to go sailing today 🙂

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We missed St.-Malo with it’s walled town owing to traffic and what appeared to impending rain as we still had a ways to go. But we hugged the coast around to Pointe-du-Grouin and Cancale where we began to catch glimpses of Le Mont Saint-Michel in the distance.

Le Mont Saint-Michel is a serious tourist mecca and it’s locked up tight. E9.00 for parking alone with a 3 klm walk was a bit much so we snuck around the boom gate and hid behind one of the dozens of buses. We got half way to the Mont when it looked like the weather was going to turn nasty so we headed back to the bike and just beat the rain to our hotel 5 klms up the road. It rained all night.

Another day and everyone of them drawing us closer to home. 170 klms.

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Day 78 – Mont St-Michel to Grandcamp Maisy

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Autumn has set in with the constant threat of inclement weather as our travelling companion. However today we managed to duck and weave our way around the steadily marching fronts.

Today, after our French continental breakfast, we started the day with a visit to a German WW2 cemetery where around 12,000 German soldiers are interred.  This place was only 2 klms from where we stayed and overlooked Mont St-Michel.

We continued on to the the Cherbourg Peninsular (if that’s what it’s called) hugging the coast and estuaries up it’s western side before crossing over the the eastern and well known Normandy beaches side where we stopped at Sainte -Mere-Eglise for lunch. This town was the first French town liberated by the Allies on D-Day and made famous via the 1960’s movie The Longest Day which showed an American soldier by the name of John Steele hanging from the local church steeple by his parachute harness. He was captured but escaped and went on to fight another few campaigns. There’s a dummy of him still hanging from said steeple.

It was here that we got our first look of what I’d call the commercialization of the horrors, the carnage and the sacrifices of war. Everywhere you look  there’s a business exploiting it turning the entire Normandy Landing area into some sort of distasteful bizarre. They could at least upgrade the public toilets – seriously.

We visited Utah Beach and then pushed on to Grandcamp-Maisy where we stayed the night overlooking the harbour. E54.00 for a complete apartment is pretty good value after 210 klms on the road.

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Days 79 – Normandy Beaches to Honfleur

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Today was a day of reflection of just what sacrifice means. There are thousands upon thousands of graves along this short stretch of earth. OK, many or most of these young men, and some women, may have seen the whole war thing as something of an adventure when they signed up or were conscripted, but the reality was here. The price of freedom in the light of what the Third Reich under hitler was capable of can never be discounted or taken lightly.

For me as a committed Christian, and one who knows what it is to be made free at no cost to myself by one who gave all and paid all, it was a sombre ride as we were waylaid by rain squalls on our journey along this stretch of coast.

 

130 klms for the day.

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Day 80 – Layday in Honfleur

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Read all about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honfleur

And our digs. The building next door is held up with acro props – eek!

Tomorrow it’s on to Paris.

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