This BLOG is a way of sharing the highlights of our travels near and far with family, friends and anyone who is interested. This has mostly been about our international travel with a couple of domestic trips. It recently occurred to me that my international followers may be interested in my travels in my own backyard. 'The trouble with not having a goal is you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.' – Bill Copeland
After getting some work done- horse reports, invoices sent, spreadsheets updated and bills paid along with all other little jobs that I just do as part of my everyday. We were ready to hit the road to Normandy just to have a look we wouldn’t have time to explore the area but thought we could drive around. We headed for Bayeux and then onto Omaha Beach again all the while in the back roads through quaint little villages and beautiful scenery.
We stopped at Patisserie in Percy and purchased baguette for home and a couple filled baguettes for our lunch. This place smelt amazing and I could have taken everything home. It is the real France. We made it to Bayeux and I found Macdonald’s to pick up coffees to go with our baguettes. The baguettes were out of this world so yummy and I could have eaten another one. It didn’t realise until I was writing this post that Bayeux is the home of the Bayeux Tapestry, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of England. It is also known as the first major town secured by the Allies during Operation Overlord
Back on the road to drive across to coast to Omaha Beach. Omaha, commonly known as Omaha Beach, was the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. There are many places to visit but we just chose this one so we have look before heading back in time to visit Mont Saint Michel in the afternoon.
The day was a little cold at the beginning but the closer we got back to the Mont the clearer the skies for and warmer it was. By the time we arrived back at the Mont parking area, the skies were blue and it wasn’t cold at all. After parking the car we made our way onto the shuttle bus to take the 15 minutes to ride out to the mont. It was a pretty steady pace navigating through the horse-drawn vehicular, walkers and cyclists, although the main crowds have left for the day there were still plenty of people around.
What can I say this place is one of the most mind-blowing places I have ever visited that includes Iguazu and Niagara Falls both natural wonders but this being man-made all with limited access due to tides. (Today there is a raised bridge to allow access at all times) was even more impressive. The sheer height of the structure makes you wonder how they ever built it. We spent a little time exploring it is very steep to walk around but we did what we could. It was great to be there with no crowds. I believe in the season it can be very very crowded especially in the middle of the day.
We decided it was time to head for home we paid the 6€ (49.50aud) for a ride back in the horse-drawn vehicle it was starting to cool off but it was almost 6:30pm. Back at the car, we headed for home via the supermarket in Pontorson to pick up BBQ chook and some bread for dinner. After a welcome cuppa and sandwich, we fell into bed after a good day of exploring.
Tomorrow we set off to Amboise in the Loire Valley for a 3-day stay and looking at a Château or two or five
After restful night and dining in the room on Subway rolls (located near the hotel). The day dawned it was car pick up day and our first Air BnB stay in Aucey-la-Plaine a small village about a 15-minute drive from Mont Saint Michel. A 20-minute taxi ride to collect the hire car. The airport is the only hire car location open on a Sunday it is also easier to start driving from somewhere on outskirts to allow time to adjust the car and being on the wrong side of the road. I have now driven a few thousand kilometres on the opposite side of the road in the USA and France previously so it comes pretty easily these days. It didn’t take long and the only couple missed turns getting used to navigation system commands. GPS systems are not as exact as google maps which warns you ahead and then says turn here at the street name when you at the exact spot. The GPS says in 400-metre turn right and if there are two streets really close together never sure without looking at the screen if the first or second street. Or at least mine does it is a couple year old now so probably outdated.
It wasn’t long before we were on our way to Aucey-la-Plaine, we avoided the highways so took our time to travel the 64 km to locate our 1st Air BnB. Once located we headed off to explore the area a bit and find something for lunch and some supplies for dinner before checking in. The nearest larger place was Pontorson which is about 10 minutes from Aucey-la-Plaine they had a market day on and after a quick look we had lunch and went for a drive out past the Mont Saint Michel. The first glimpse is ‘wow’ it just so large and stands out from everything. Just like the pictures, it is impressive from all angles. We decided to visit tomorrow afternoon and hoped the weather would be nice as our first day in the area.
Check-in at our first Air BnB was uneventful and was self-check-in using the details provided by the host, we settle down for the night in our very suitable little cottage.
Tips: Pick up rental cars from airports, often easier to navigate away from town until you are used to driving on the left-hand side of the road. Getting out of city areas can be a bit tricky when adjusting to the car and finding your way.
Allow plenty of time before your train leaves to familiarise yourself station and platform your train will leave and where to stand on the platform for your carriage (usually marked on overhead boards on the platform)
Check if you need to validate your ticket (yellow machine or by completing trip details (Before you board) on train pass. Usually, tickets with allocated seats/reservations do not require validation
Accommodations: Rennes Mercure (short taxi ride from the station) Close to a few food options Air BnB Aucey-la-Plaine Easy to access using self-check-in/out instructions provided. Good communication with the host via email and text. Well-appointed and perfect for our needs …Steep stairs to bathroom and bedrooms