The day started hot and humid and the moment Rachael headed out for a run it became very humid indeed, thunderstorm wet!
Me being sensible (read lazy) protected our bags from the safety of bed!
After all that excitement it was time for breakfast at the communal table, which we shared with a Dutch fellow, who filled us in on lots of political talk about the Greeks, plus shared travel tales and adventure.
We battled through the rain to the MAHB, the Museum of Bayeux art history, mainly because it was part of a museum pass we had than any great desire to be in another art gallery, but it was pretty interesting, and kept us dry while it bucketed down outside.
Enough culture, time to have a last look through the Cathedral before heading off toward our next pitstop.
The beauty of today is our next stop is only 90kms away so we were in no hurry to get anywhere, plenty of time for our friendly GPS to lead us on a merry goose chase through the beautiful Normandy countryside.
And so it did, down lovely lanes, through ridiculously charming villages with picture postcard looks, literally caressing the fields of wheat and clover as we meandered down tiny country tracks, until finally spitting us out onto a proper road which led to our first stop at Arromanches, home to the D-Day beaches of Juno, Sword and Gold.
The beach is quite spectacular, remnants of the landing vessels dot the horizon, permanent reminders of what went before, with a few rusting hulks lying close to shore.
Unlike Omaha beach which is pristine, this one shows plenty of signs of a real conflict.
Arromanches sits right on the beach, was flattened during the invasion and rebuilt, like so many towns, after the war.
A charming little village except for the huge water rats that took a liking to Rachael, almost dragged her into the water!
Enough war business, time for relaxation….except we drove straight past the Beny-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery and had to stop to pay our respects.
The D-Day experience is all about paying respect to those who made the greatest sacrifice, so we did, in a small neat solemn place, set inland from the beach.
The impact is not as powerful as the American cemetery, yet still a sobering reminder of the price paid by ordinary citizens thrown into extraordinary times.
Time to push on to our next stop, the historic harbour town of Honfleur.
An hour later we arrived at our humble abode for the next two nights, a modest little joint two streets from one of the most beautiful old harbour villages in France.
When I say modest I don’t really mean it, man this place is unreal, the best of our stay by far and probably the best we have ever stayed at.
There will be more gushing about this place tomorrow, but holy-moly it is tremendous, and the hosts…
Honfleur is beautiful, the harbour is enclosed in four and five story wooden and brick buildings, most with restaurants on the ground floor all hovering over the water. Narrow laneways abut the harbour leading in all directions, filled with boutiques, art galleries and cider shops.
Cider is the main drink of Normandy along with Calvados, and there must be 50 shops selling the stuff. Between them and restaurants it’s a surprise the obesity rates aren’t through the roof!
We had dinner at a lovely restaurant up one of the laneways, sat on the footpath to enjoy the ambience, and promptly turned into ten year olds as we watched the ongoing circus that was “avoid the dog shit!”
The French love their dogs, they travel everywhere with them, the ‘pooper scooper’ is definitely an optional extra, and one dog had proudly placed his mark right opposite our restaurant.
You know how fart jokes are always funny….well, the running commentary as we waited for the first unsuspecting soul to take one short step too many kept us most amused!
After many near misses, one too many German tourists risked our mirth and hit the jackpot….did a beautiful pirouette which gave the flys a whole new angle of attack, before heading off oblivious!
Rachael stopped giggling about 15 minutes ago!
Small minds, too much time on our hands!
By the way, dinner was lovely, plus they forgot to bill us for the wine….winners all round!