The Amateur Traveler talks to Michael Kenney about traveling to Normandy in France. Michael talks about at least two different invasions associated with this region of France.
The oldest was the Norman invasion of England which left from Normandy and is documented in the 224 foot long Bayeux Tapestry which is exhibited in a museum in Bayeux. The more recent was the Allied invasion of Normandy in World War 2.
Michael describes visiting the invasion beaches (codenamed Juno, Gold, Omaha, Utah, and Sword), the cemeteries, and the village of Sainte-Mère-Église which was the first French Village liberated. Michael also talks about visiting the medieval fortress and monastery of Mont Saint-Michel.
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One Response to “Travel to Normandy in France – Episode 275”
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Tags: audio travel podcast, france, podcast
May 1st, 2011 at 2:24 am
Some points to add:
– The Bayeux Tapestry actually starts not with the preparation for the invasion of England, but Edward the Confessor. The whole story of why William invaded is sketched out, to justify the legitimacy of his claim to the throne of England. And ironically it’s not actually a tapestry…
– In Summer (at least) there’re buses running from D-Day beach to D-Day beach
– You can view the original Pegasus bridge in the D-Day beach area
– The interior is desolate (it must’ve been one of the most desolate non-ruined Christian sites I’ve visited), thanks to this thing called the French Revolution, so be prepared
– The village at the foot of the abbey of Mont-St-Michel is a tourist trap. It only has restaurants, shops and museums with animatronics
– If you have time, you should drive to Mont-St-Michel at night and visit it first thing in the morning. Mont-St-Michel is lit at night so it looks like Disneyland. And it’s lit throughout the night (probably paid for by the French state) so you can take your time getting there.
– Given the lack of lights in the area star gazing is fantastic at night (okay, I’m a city kid, so this may not be so exciting for those who get out into the Great Outdoors more often)
Normandy in General
– Normandy is famous for half-timbered houses
– I wouldn’t go to too many little villages. The first few are nice but after a while they’re all the same
– I think what your guest meant was that you should bring credit cards with “Cirrus”, “Electron” and the like at the back. IIRC not all Mastercards/Visas work in foreign ATMs – you need the other names on the cards for that
– Normandy is also famous for apples and cider! Which shows up in the cooking. Mmm.
– Parisians are indeed rude – they are known in France for that. I knew I was back in Paris when I was driving along the Périphérique (ring road) and someone came up right behind me… and FLASHED HIS HIGH BEAM AT ME. I was blinded and almost crashed.
Also a budget tip for driving holidays in France in general – the Formule 1 chain of budget accommodation is a great value ultra-basic chain. You can get a room which houses up to 3 for 29-34€.