Blogs from Caen, Lower Normandy, France, Europe


Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen May 23rd 2015

Friday 22 May 2015 Seventy-one years ago the Allied armies were preparing to land at the Normandy beaches only a few kilometres from where we are staying. It is hard to believe the turmoil that would be unleashed on such beautiful countryside. Today the weather is fine, the fields have been planted in summer crops of grain, corn and broad beans. They look lush and sway in the light breeze. We wondered if this is how it would have looked all those years ago. Our destination today is the Caen Memorial Museum. We were greeted by a larger than life American sailor embracing a local girl, a sign of happiness and relief perhaps. Inside a very large bunker -like building we are greeted by a light welcoming feeling. Without any questions being asked we are charged ... read more
Lion sur Mer, Sword Beach
American Military Cemetery, Omaha Beach

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen October 4th 2014

Normandy France from 27 Sept to 1 Oct We arrived at the Paris Nord train station and after ferreting the info on where our car hire place was, we found it and all was ready for us. With 2 GPSs (one built in the car and ours), Tom drove out of Paris. It certainly reminded us that we did the right thing last time we were in Paris, last year with Kerrie & Gemma, when we left our motor home in Versailles. It was bumper to bumper for 45 minutes. You have to make sure you drive confidently and while in Paris do what Parisians do, and that is, don't hesitate. We arrived at our hotel in Pontoise which was 30 kms out of Paris and on the way to our first tourist stop - Rouen ... read more
Normandy Memorial Museum Bayeux France (4)
Normandy Memorial Museum Bayeux France (5)
Omaha Beaches Normandy France - Vierville-sur-Mer - American memorials (18)

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen February 25th 2014

Le départ approche, la tension monte, les filles dorment mal la nuit... En gros le stress est là... Vivement le départ que toute cette tension retombe!! Cela fait 3 mois qu'on prépare ce voyage, la 1ere semaine est calée : Samedi 1er et dimanche 2 mars : Kuala Lumpur, histoire de se mettre un peu dans le bain puis dimanche soir on prend l'avion direction Langkawi une ile au nord ouest de la malaisie, où nous passerons la nuit. Lundi matin, speedboat direction Koh Lipe, une petite ile thailandaise ou nous resterons jusqu'au jeudi 6 mars : Farniente, Snorkeling et plongée... Puis jeudi, retour sur Langkawi pour la journée et le soir avion pour Penang. Nous y passerons au moins 2 jours. Il est ensuite prévu un passage par les Cameron Highlands et Taman Negara ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen November 21st 2013

I'm writing this post really late... several months after having been there, so I'll probably have forgotten a few details. I think my best contribution with this post are the photos that I took and edited. I didn't have the best weather during my short stay in Caen, so I didn’t really get to do all that I wanted there. Besides, I wasn't able to find a car to rent and moving around in public transport between villages is pretty difficult, especially if you're on a time frame. So, first tip: if you've been planning to get here for a while and really want to get the most out of your stay, rent a car or book tours way in advance. While I was there I decided to do the “Band of Brothers tour” (based on ... read more
German Battery, Langues-sur-Mer
American Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer
Pointe du Hoc

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen August 27th 2013

This is starting to sound like we are going between places where our next stay will be the next letter in the alphabet With the sky overcast but looking promising for some sun and the temperature starting to warm up we said our farewell to Romuald and his wife and were very sorry to be leaving the apartment. It has been the type of place we would like to pack up and take with us such has the comfort of it all been With another 300+ kilometres ahead of us we plan just to take the fastest route that Victoria works out for us and although it won’t give much if any time for sightseeing during the day we will make up for it after Caen when we have a 4 night stop arranged. The local ... read more
Loading up and ready to depart Buysscheure apartment
Main Street,Buysscheure

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen May 19th 2013

A marathon day of driving today, probably the longest single stretch we are going to do in one day. We set off in sunshine from Buckingham and the temperature and weather deteriorated from then on. It was not raining at the coast in the UK but soon started spitting on the other side of the Channel. We made good time getting down to Folkestone and had enough time for a break and to stick the anti-glare stickers on the car headlights. No idea whether they are on in the right place but the guy behind us on the train was just gaffer-taping his up so we at least had the proper kit! The train is super smooth and fast but very boring as there is nothing to see and you can't really get out. Dad did ... read more
Driving down to embark on the train
Driving in the train
The first kilometre in France

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen December 7th 2012

Since I'm from Canada, this particular visit really hit home for me. As I walked in the Canadian Cemetery, I noticed that there was nobody there except for the maintenance worker. At the front, there was a giant stone with a cross on top reading: "their name liveth for evermore". In a little pavilion near the entrance there was a book, listing all the names and birth places of the Canadian soldiers who died in the Battle of Normandy during World War Two. There were names given from every province, including some who lived just an hour away from me. I didn't know any of them, but it made me feel really connected and close to my homeland even though I was so far away. The cemetery grounds were kept absolutely spotless. Almost every tombstone had ... read more
Canadian Cemetery

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen December 5th 2012

Located in Lower Normandy, Bayeux is home to the famous Bayeux Cathedral and Bayeux Tapestry. I was lucky enough to gain the privilege of spending an entire day roaming its streets and admiring the ancient beauty surrounding me. The first thing you notice when driving in is the tall cathedral. The perfection of its structure makes it look surreal, and even more desirable than imagined. In one of the pictures I took, it looks like a castle in an old Disney movie. Inside the cathedral is even more magnificent. I spent a lot of my time looking at the effort that was put into the stain glass windows. And all the way around are sculptures and works done of Jesus and different religious aspects. There's always locals there too, either praying or greeting the tourists. They ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen November 11th 2012

November 11 – Caen – Having decided that I had “done Caen” on Friday evening I did pretty much today as I did yesterday. I just stayed in my room and did homework on various things. It was such a shame really as looking out the window I saw blue sky and realized it was a beautiful day. Still it was another odd day here. Although the weather was good there was no one walking the street below and it was as quiet as I have ever heard it anywhere. A really strange thing, kinda feels like I am in the twilight zone. It’s really one of the strangest thing I have ever experienced. Such quiet in such a large city. Maybe since it’s Armistice day that has something to do with it? Oh well….I guess ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Caen November 10th 2012

November 10 – Caen – Saturday – Saturday seems to be a quiet day in Caen. Usually the street below my window at the hotel is bustling but today hardly anyone has been in it but some people standing in a doorway smoking in the cold. Since they can’t smoke inside they stand out in the cold and rain and smoke…….I think if I smoked I would give it up before I would do that. By the way it was raining today. The first time since I left England that it has rained, it was quite nice not to have rain almost every day. It is somewhat cold though, but I can deal with that. I had thought the phone that I had gotten in England with an O2 SIMS card would work here but it ... read more

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