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Published: November 22nd 2014
Hired a car from Amsterdam yesterday so now have our own wheels. Brought down Debby and the boys to Numansdorp as they're now on school holidays. Luuk slept on our boat and then we had a very relaxed morning...finally departing at 1100. Didn’t have far to go, so not a problem. All the roads were motorways, so very fast travelling and not much traffic on the road either. Sometimes after joining a new highway, it was slightly congested for a while, but once all the cars got themselves sorted, all were cruising along nicely again for ages! We booked our B&B late last night, so I was hoping it was all ok.
When we arrived, the building was just stunning!!!!
Once we’d stowed our bags we had an explore through the grounds. It was a bit soggy from recent rains, so we didn’t venture off the paths, but such a stunning place. The only downside was that there was nowhere to sit and have sundowners with the other guests if one so chose. We asked about a ‘sitting room’ or ‘lounge room’ but was told there
was nothing. When asked...so where do we sit now? The answer was ‘in your room”. Im not sure if the whole conversation was lost in translation, but never mind, we took ourselves off to explore the surrounding villages and to find some dinner. This we found in a little kebab shop. Excellent food. Phil had pizza – French style with a creamy sauce base. Different, but very nice!!
Continued our journey down towards Granville to find Ian and Kim Dunn. Phil worked alongside with Ian for a bit. Phil was in T.ville in disaster management and Ian was doing the same thing in Brissy. Both got along really well and have kept in touch. In fact way back – about 4 years ago there was first talk of catching up with each other in France one day...well today was the day! Ian and Kim have bought this amazing old French farm house with a Gite (self contained 2 bedroom cottage that you rent out for a week at a time attached). Such a stunning place. They’ve had to do up the Gite almost from scratch and
have just had 1 season with it open. What a great lifestyle, and amazing place to live!! Ian and Phil had a wager going over the last few Ashes seasons. If England won, Phil had to buy Ian a bottle of wine. If Oz won, then Ian had to repay the favour. Over the last 2 series, Phil owed Ian 3 bottles and Ian owed Phil 5!! My thoughts were that then one cancelled out the other and Ian just owed Phil 2 bottles. However, apparently it doesn’t work like that. So, soon after arrival all bets were paid in full. And then the fun started!! Sundowners started early, and continued till late....or early the next day depending on how you want to look at it!
After a lateish start to the day and scrambled eggs with smoked trout courtesy of Ian, Phil and I tootled off in our car to explore Mont Saint-Michel
Had an amazing day, lots of sunshine...and so many steps!! Think our legs might be a tad
sore tomorrow!! Back to K & I just in time for sundowners
Overcast and raining today so instead of going to explore Normandy beaches, we decided to stick local – went into town with I&K had breakfast at a local cafe – crisonnt and coffe (Grande Creme as we’ve been told to ask for) coffee still too strong for me, but getting better. Then explored the slightly diminished markets (due to weather). Got some fresh oysters for dinner. K&I went home and we stayed on to visit the Bell Foundry where the bells from Notre Dame Paris are made. We had the tour explaining how the bells are made.....and then commissioned one for Restless Spirit. What fun!! The sun came out for just a short moment – enough time for me to take some pics of the town to look like we’ve had great weather all the time! Back home for oysters (Phil showed Ian how to shuck them as he hadn’t done it before) followed by another gastronomic delight home cooked. I&K love to cook...and we love to eat..perfect combination!
sunny day so we took off to explore the D-day landing beaches at Normandy. We drove up to Omaha Beach.
We went to the museum there and watched a short video. It was very moving and informative. We drove around and saw a couple of important sites before heading off to the American cemetery. So many plain white crosses really bring the numbers home.
A quick drive to Bayeux to see the famous tapestry there, but by the time we arrived it really was too late to give it enough time (also for the entry cost). We’ll leave that for next time. We did go into the cathedral there though and once again – full of history.
Drive home with Nancy our Navigator directing all the way. On the way up she took us off the main highways through some lovely little French towns, but on the way home it was highways all the way. Out for dinner that night at the local restaurant in town where all the food is cooked on an open fire. Of course I had lamb chops....devine. And Phil had duck! For dessert I had chocolate mousse and Phil Crème Brulee.
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