Sunday, 11 August 2013

Bonne Vacances en Normandy 2013

It has been a few weeks since I blogged here. Those weeks have been crazy with my youngest finishing primary school, my eldest needing to be ferried to The Met Office for his work experience, and we have been on holiday for two weeks! So this is my holiday post - I'll show you some of the great things I bought back later in the week and I am also hoping to make a cake stand this week.

If you have followed me for a while, you will know that we usually holiday in France, and this year is no exception. We stayed in a gite which was rented through Brittany Ferries. This had lots of extra facilities such as bikes for all of us and a trampoline! Here are some of the highlights:

The front view of the gite
After a 4am start we had a very smooth crossing from Poole to Cherbourg. We reached our gite eventually, after being confused by Route Baree signs, which the road wasn't really closed! The gite is lovely and cool inside with a large garden. Luckily the older boys are sleeping in an annexe, so we won't be disturbed when we go to bed before them! We are welcomed with a lovely gift of wine, cider, water and biscuits.

A trip to St Pair sur Mer near Granville, which we discovered last year. We love it because of the swimming pool which is in the sea here.The beach is great for beach sports and the boys rode up and down the beach wall on their ripsticks.

Up to the north coast of Normandy to Pointe du hoc, which was a German stronghold during World War II. As this posed a risk to the allied landings on D day, an american battalion was charged with destroying it. The result is a pockmarked site, with many of the original concrete gun holdings and bunkers. It is a fascinating site and you are free to wander around it.

Meadow detail at Pointe du Hoc


Pointe du Hoc
We went to our local town of Vire as it was market day. As we approached, it was hot and smokey from the various food on offer. The market consisted mainly of cheap clothing although there was the odd thing that caught my eye. There was also an array of food stalls and lovely looking produce too. Nothing was left to the imagination at the fish stall - the fish were gutted in front of you!

Live crabs at the market

As you would expect, the best of the market is in the wonderful fruit and vegetables- boxes of fuzzy peaches and haricots verts. I went for a bag of luscious dark cherries.

Cerises

We located an outdoor pool in the nearest village, St Sever Calvados. There is possibly nothing so tempting as a dip in  a cool pool in the summer. I have never seen a pool quite like it - flanked by a field of cows to the left and with a picnic area at the back of the pool. As we swam, the clouds darkened and we just avoided an absolute deluge.

As the bad weather passed through, we took our chance of going somewhere a bit sunnier on the north coast, Luc sur Mer. If you have ever seen the wonderful film Hairdressers Husband, you will want to visit and wear a knitted costume! The beach is large and sandy, and the sea is shallow for some distance, which was ideal for paddling. Some sand pools were created in a dip in the sand, and we searched for crabs, but all we found were dead.

Luc sur mer

Zoo de Jurques, which we have visited many times, was where we headed. The weather was perfect for watching the animals. The real treat was a baby snow leopard which was playing like a kitten. Unfortunately, none of my photos of him have come out very well.

The parents....

...and baby snow leopard, Gaspar

The Christian Dior garden at Granville was a real highlight for me, and is free to enter. I would have preferred it without my boys, but never mind! Some of the planting was amazing and there was a lovely shaded spot to have tea outside.



Hope you are all having a good summer.

Love Mrs Jones x

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