Sunday, 22 September 2013

What did I get up to on my holiday......week 2

So after our first week in the Eurocamp tent we were headed towards a tiny little place called La Bazoque to a nice warm and cosy gite with a toilet and running water and.......wifi (can you tell I was super excited by all this!).  On the way to La Bazoque (we had to be out from Eurocamp by 10am and couldn't arrive at the gite until 3pm) we stopped off at Caen. Not a massive amount to say about Caen, as far as French towns go it was nice, full of chocolate shops, patisseries and these weird models in windows....(see below). We had a nice lunch while we were there but we won't be returning to the restaurant due to Alfie having the mother of all tantrums ......not even a breadstick or silly faces could stop it *hangs head in shame!*

Macarons, yum!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caen

We arrived at our gite and I have never been so pleased to see 4 brick walls and a sink (Ok slightly dramatic I know!), we were greeted by the owner Stephen and he was lovely. To view information about the gite click on the link Les Moulin des Essards

From the front the gite looks absolutely tiny but it was actually over 3 floors so there was ample room for the four of us and Alfie (my parents joined us late on the Sunday). It was also really well equipped with everything needed for it to be a home away from home. 


http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/VacationRentalReview-g668531-d2464064-Le_Moulin_des_Essards-Balleroy_Calvados_Basse_Normandie_Normandy.html

So this particular week turned out to be full on apart from Sunday when the three of us chilled waiting for my parents to arrive. This particular gite is smack bang in prime location for exploring and was within easy driving access of all the D-Day landing beaches and war cemeteries (perfect for my Dad who is a complete military nut/fanatic).  

So what did we get up to this week? Where do I start more to the point?! Instead of boring you with masses and masses of writing I'll only write a few sentences of things we did and I'll of course put plenty of pictures up! I'll also link up my Trip Advisor reviews again so you can access more information should you want to!

http://www.chateau-balleroy.com/?lang=en

So we started of our week with rain which wasn't great but I was just thankful we weren't in the tent! We decided to pop along to Chateau Balleroy which was a few miles down the road. It was a really interesting way to spend a couple of hours, I do love looking around a Chateau!! The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent playing with Alfie, drinking wine and playing card games, perfect!


On Tuesday we decided to visit the British War CemeteryBayeux (but not the tapestry!) and then Arromanches and 'Muberry Harbour'. Firstly I have to say just how moving visiting the cemetery was, I read the visitor book and some of things people had written had me close to tears, it was the same when we visited the American War Cemetery. It's just so moving seeing rows and rows of graves and realising just what these men and women had gone through, it's hard not to feel emotional. 


http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2033300/BAYEUX%20WAR%20CEMETERY





I could keep adding photos but I'm just featuring these three as they are, in my opinion, extremely poignant. I would definitely visit again as a mark of respect if I'm ever in this area again. We didn't visit the D-Day memorial museum that is just over the road as we decided to head into Bayeux, plus going around museums with a hyperactive toddler is difficult! We then went on to Bayeux and the centre. I had visited Bayeux years and years ago on a school trip (who hasn't!) I don't remember much about Bayeux itself though, we opted just to have a walk through the town and have a look in the Cathedral, it's a really lovely place to have a stroll through and again full of Chocolatiers and Patisseries (ahhh yummy!!). 


http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g187181-Bayeux_Calvados_Basse_Normandie_Normandy-Vacations.html





After visiting Bayeux we popped along to Arromanches as we were only about 5 minutes away. For those who don't know Arromanches (or Gold beach) formed part of the D-Day landings and featured Mulberry Harbour (an artificial harbour made for unloading equipment and troops onto the beach).  It's a beautiful and very peaceful beach and we spent about an hour there with Alfie reflecting and taking in the remnants of the war and harbour that can be seen in the sea. 



http://www.normandie-tourisme.fr/articles/arromanches-398-2.html





Wednesday came and we went out on another military filled day, I know you must be thinking how much military stuff can a girly, girl take?! Well I don't really mind, I've been brought up with it and actually find it alot more interesting now I'm older and am not a stroppy teenager being dragged around exhibits! This particular day involved visiting the American War Cemetery and Memorial and Omaha Beach, again this was another moving and poignant visit, even more so as it was 9/11 and the security seemed to be very high on entry to the museum (which for free is an excellent museum , however Alfie decided to have another massive tantrum so I spent about 45 minutes outside being stared at while my son took to screaming and crying and nothing would console him, nightmare! I nearly had a Mummy melt down at this point!




http://www.abmc.gov/cemeteries/cemeteries/no.php


On Thursday we did yet more war related visits (mainly on my Dads & Adi's requests!). We started of going to Overlord Museum which is full of tanks and military vehicles, after about half an hour though I have to admit they all seemed to merge into one another, my Dad however was in his element! There is only a certain amount of militaria I can take and after this particular day I think I'd had enough and definitely wanted Friday to be less hectic! After this we then went on to St Mere Eglise which is famous for the American Paratroopers landing and some getting caught on the church. There is also an excellent museum called Airborne Museum which I particularly enjoyed as it was the only museum we visited with a massive selection of medical supplies and some nurses uniforms on display, they also have a Waco glider on show which is so bizarre to see that Soldiers actually landed in them!! 

http://www.sainte-mere-eglise.info/en/


After all this military exertion we decided to take full advantage of the Grandparents and have a meal out. We ate out at the beautiful Manoir de la Drome a Michelin starred restaurant. With it being a Thursday we were the only ones dining, it was like having our own personal Chef! The food was sublime as was the wine and the service!


http://www.manoir-de-la-drome.com/


On Friday we decided to go to Port en Bessin for a relaxed day and some seafood, it was a really nice little port and a perfect way to round off our holiday. We collected some shells and watched the tide come in before having a nice lunch in Fleur de Sel, it was all very relaxed after the manic few days we'd had! 




http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Tourism-g644121-Port_en_Bessin_Huppain_Calvados_Basse_Normandie_Normandy-Vacations.html



So that sums up our 2nd week of our holidays! I'm exhausted after writing all of that, I can't believe how much we managed to cram in AND we still didn't visit half the places we could or eat enough Camembert or visit a Calvados farm!! We obviously need to go back to the area :-) I think Normandy has alot to offer and I would definitely recommend it, it was nice that the weather wasn't overly hot as it meant we could see alot of things and not sweat our asses off! 

I hope you've enjoyed reading about my holiday and if you want anymore information on the restaurants and things we did you can click on the links provided but also access my Trip Advisor where are there more of my reviews in more detail. 

Thanks so much for reading!

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4 comments:

  1. Fabulous photos, I think you chose the right time of year to visit the battlefields and memorials - my mum booked a trip for me to go in February and there was snow everywhere. I don't remember ever being so cold!

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    1. Thank you! Yes I agree, if it was too hot aswell I don't think you could spend as much time exploring. It's a lovely part of France. Thank you for your comment :-) x

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  2. Wow! Looks like you had a brilliant time!!
    Fab photos x

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    1. Thank you!! We did, would definitely go back. X

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