Saturday, 29 January 2011

FRANCE - Calvados Country

Having focused much of our time and travel on sailing, the winter months of 2010 / 2011 were going to be different. We kicked off with a day trip to France, to visit a few familiar Normandy sights, some harbours to include in the 2011 summer cruise and a couple of towns further inland. The area is known as Calvados Country. The night ferry delivered us to Ouistreham and we rolled off the ferry into the darkness.

Dawn was still some time away. We headed slowly westwards hugging the coast roads, with the glow of daybreak gathering behind us. Courseulles was an attractive harbour worthy of revisiting. By Arromanches, dawn had broken but it was to be an overcast day with little hope of it brightening up. Stopping at the Batterie de Longues and the then American cemetery at Colleville sur Mer, brought us reminders of the human sacrifices made in this area 66 years ago.

Having visited the harbours of Port en Bessin, Isigny and Carentan, we turned east to Bayeux. Having been here before, we wanted to see more of the town itself. We found it to be quite a typical French town, with the main street through the centre of town bustling with life. We strolled and lunched, soaking up the atmosphere.

The afternoon passed with a driving tour of the area to Thury-Harcourt and Clecy. The inevitable supermarket visit was squeezed in before a rapid drive back to Ouistreham to catch the ferry home.

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