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Normandy France ~ Alphabe- Thursday

Normandy France ~  Alphabe- Thursday

Jenny MatlockMy contribution today to round 5 of Alphabe- Thursday hosted by Jenny Matlock. If you have a moment please visit her website and check out her ‘terrific tangents’.

This week’s letter is ‘N

– ‘N’ for Normandy France –

thatched roof cottage Normandy FranceBy now you have probably realized that when ever it is Alphabet Thursday, I am taking you with me on one of my travels. This particular one took place almost exactly five years ago, while I was still living in Germany with my partner. Yes, back then we had not been married, and it was also the time before the windsurfing bug bit us and every vacation is spent windsurfing. We decided to take his new (used) car for a spin and drove about 10 hours west from Mannheim, Germany to Normandy France.

cottage, Normandy Francecottage roses Normandy FranceFor one week we had rented a small cottage with a thatched roof in the middle of nowhere a.k.a. lots of country. But we found it alright and as expected the landlady was extremely nice, but did not speak a single word in any other language, but French. Oh well, so, I got to practice my extremely limited and rusty school French and we got by. It was a very small and cute old cottage, but absolutely sufficient for us. And it had a fireplace, a little pond and a beautiful, wild garden with lots of blooming flowers. And an abandoned pool, with a few rain puddles in it, which the frogs seemed to love. Every morning and evening we had the loudest and longest imaginable croaking concert – quite soothing really, once you got used to it. The mosquitoes are another story.


frog, poolwhite calla lilypink wild roseNormandy Francepink rosefrog












wild rose pink







Le Mont St. Michel, Normandy FranceBeing a ‘good tourist’ in Normandy France, I might add ‘good American tourist’, and my now-husband/then partner is American, there are two must sees. 1) Everybody should visit the old monastery on the rocky tidal island ‘Le Mont Saint Michel’ and 2) the beaches and reminders of D-Day in World War II.

Le Mont St. Michel, Normandy FranceNeedless to say that I, as a woman, was more interested in Le Mont St. Michel. So, one day David and I drove up small country roads to the coast and followed the signs to this Le Mont St. Michel, Normandy Franceattraction. I had been there many years ago on a school student exchange and noticed that it had not changed much. From the distance it is still the same impressively massive, architectural structure built – seemingly on nothing. It is in fact a tidal rock island, which at ebb tide is surrounded by marshland and during high tide by water. As you can see on the photos, it was ebb tide while we were there. This also gives you the opportunity to walk around the monastery. However Le Mont St. Michel, Normandy Franceyou will get wet or dirty/sandy feet doing so. Le Mont St. Michel itself consists of the lower levels, which back in time, just like today, were inhabited by merchants and craftsmen. In other words – you Le Mont St. Michel, Normandy Francecannot possibly buy all the souvenirs that are on offer here. But once you get through the very narrow and winding streets you are rewarded with a beautiful view, both of the monastery up above and the land and ocean surrounding the island. You can take the path way up to the top of the hill and wander all around outside and inside. It is truly a day trip and tourist traps aside we enjoyed it a lot.

Le Mont St. Michel, Normandy FranceLe Mont St. Michel, Normandy France






Arromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, ddayArromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, ddayA few days later when David’s best friend visited us, we decided to also cross off tourist-must-see #2 in Normandy France and drove up to Arromanches Les Bains. In 1944 this was part of ‘Gold Beach’. You can still see lots of old military items e.g. bunker, tanks etc. in smaller, as well as in bigger museums. And you will learn a lot of history just by wandering the streets, some named after the allied units, of all the little towns and Arromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, ddayArromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, ddayvillages. Keep looking for markers of notable incidents. I found it particularly interesting that, I believe only at ebb tide, you can still see the remnants of the artificial harbor built by the allies. Amazing after over 60 years. Obviously there are also a lot of cemeteries, of all countries involved, immaculately kept, with people visiting and paying their respects. A very memorable area both for Americans or Allies and Germans. cross, Arromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, ddayArromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, ddaybeach, Arromanches Les Bains, Normandy France, dday


  • twistedpixelstudio

    I love that picture of Mont St.Michel.. It really does speak to me. Very beautiful area. I never did to see France while living in Germany but I really regret not going there now. Someday…..

    • Claudia Willison

      Hm, maybe I’ll have to do a ‘special Debbi-Christmas-Edition’ of it 🙂 France is really, really nice. It can be sometimes difficult (or funny) to get by without French, but…

  • Karen

    Just beautiful, Claudia! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! The photos of your cottage are what I think of when I hear the word “France”.

    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you, Karen! This was an especially cute and also old cottage, but there are a lot of those around over there.

  • anita

    Some lovely images there. I love the “cottages”.

  • VBR

    What wonderful gorgeous photos. I love the ones of the houses, the buildings, that little cottage is ike something out of a fairytale or dream. The nature shots are so crisp and clear. I have to say, those little froggy ones are my favorites!! Thank you for sharing your lovely trip!

    • Claudia Willison

      You are very welcome! I am happy that you like my photos. I have got so many photos of those frogs. I sat for what feels like hours and hours by that pool and listened and watched.

  • Catherine - Our Village is a Little Different

    Oh, Normandy! Such a beautiful but tragic place. Your photos are lovely. Thank you for sharing your trip.

    • Claudia Willison

      You are certainly right, Catherine – beautiful and tragic, but in the end good. Hm, kind of like your comic book heros…

  • Amanda Jo

    What beautiful photos, and what stunning vistas. The cottage, in particular, feels like it would be a haven to me!

    • Claudia Willison

      It was really very small inside, which I would not like too much in my regular home, but it made it also very cozy. Thank you Amanda Jo!

  • Sarah ~ Magnolia Surprise

    Beautiful photos! I love the cottage with its thatched roof — so sweet!
    Thanks for stopping by today!

    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you very much, Sarah! That particular cottage was very cute and… romantic.

  • lissa

    it looks like old country, definitely a place to visit and to capture as many sights and pictures a possible.

    thanks for sharing this trip. have a great day.

    • Claudia Willison

      France sure is worth a or rather many visits. If you have the chance – do it, Lissa!

  • Jamie "ChatterBlossom"

    I love going along on your travels! And this was definitely no exception. I adore France and your pics are beautiful!

    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you for traveling along with me, Jamie. All the things we will see together… 😉

  • Ruth

    Gorgeous pictures, would love to follow you but I can’t find the link 🙂

    • Claudia Willison

      That would be great, I like company! Thank you, Ruth! Hm, it is in the right sidebar, maybe a little small – I just sent you a subscription, which you can accept 🙂 or, should you have changed your mind in the meantime, simply ignore.

  • Isobel Morrell

    Just dropping by from Blogging Buddies – am due to visit Normandy mysellf in a few weeks time, and this post really whetted my appetite. Thanks! Will be following you, and hope you’ll follow us – we’re looking forward to meeting you. All the best.

    • Claudia Willison

      Niiice, have a great trip, Isobel! Thank you for the follow, I will certainly be checking out your blog!

  • Wanda

    I’ve never been to Europe but your photos and descriptions are certainly enticing.

    • Claudia Willison

      There are certainly a lot of wonderful places in Europe. But it is so far away from the US… AND there are so many great places to visit here, too, right?!

  • Cheryl D.

    Looks like it was an amazing trip. I love the pics of the frogs!

    • Claudia Willison

      Thanks for the visit, Cheryl! It was definitely a fun trip: See/experience something new, be with friends/family, relax = great!

  • Jenny Matlock

    Wow. That cottage in the top picture just caught my eye.

    That’s one of my favorite remembrances of visiting England and Wales many years ago.

    The thatched cottages and the emerald countryside!

    This was a wonderful and nifty link to the letter ‘N”.

    Thank you for sharing it.


    • Claudia Willison

      Thank you, Jenny. I agree the countrysides in England and Wales are very pretty, too

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