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发表于 2014-07-29 01:20
After arriving in France at CDG airport, we picked up our rental car and headed to Honfleur on the coast of Normandy.
Honfleur is considered by many the birth place of Impressionism. It is the light that shone on those waterfront facades in the harbor square that inspired Impressionist pioneers such as Boudin and Monet: out of the studio and into the light! And Francis, who painted the following on canvas.
Local seafood at the L’Aromate, near the harbor in Honfleur. those oysters are the best!
The following morning, we left Honfleur for the Normandy beach. Arromarches was the center of the D-day landing of the Allied forces on 6/6/1944. On one side of it are the British and Canadian landing beaches, the other side is the American landing beach, Omaha beach where fierce German resistance was met, creating huge American casualties. It is best depicted in landing scenes at the beginning of movie “Saving Private Ryan”.
Port Winston was a prefab artificial harbor created by the British, supposedly a brain child of Churchill. It was created by sinking multiple cargo vessels linked together to provide a platform for military transportation for the landing. Most of it had been washed out to sea, with a few remnant rusted floats visible from the the beach out into the sea.
On our way to the Omaha beach, we stopped at the Longues-sur-Mer German Gun battery, 10 minutes drive from Arronmarches. Four German bunkers with long-range artillery guns spread out in a semicircle on a bluff overlooking the English channel, guarding against seaborne attacks. This is part of Hitler’s Atlantic wall defense in WW II.
These guns have a range of 12 miles with pretty good accuracy.
from the observation bunker located at the beach looking at the four gun stations.
Further ahead for another 10 miles, is the famous Omaha Beach where thousands of young American lives were lost on that fateful day of 6/6/1944. The beach is quiet and serene now, it’s so hard to imagine the bloody scenes from the movie actually happened.
American cemetery and Memorial is located on a bluff just above the Omaha beach.
It is a very solemn and powerful place.
the museum on site provides a time lines of WWII and many personal stories and artifacts of the time.
We stayed in Bayeux, just several miles from D-Day beach. Bayeux is famous for its tapestry, a 70 yard long linen cloth with wool embroidery, telling the story of William the Conqueror’s rise from the Duke of Normandy to King of England, with victory over Harold at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The tapestry museum is very well run with a nice narration as you follow the scenes on the tapestry.
the beginning scene: King Edward had no heir, he chose his Norman cousin William, the Duke of Normandy of France to be his successor. He asked another English noble Harold to go to France to deliver the message. So Harold took off for France.
Later, Harold took the throne himself despite of his pledge of oath to William. William sailed from Normandy to England and battled with Harold and defeated him in the famous Battle of Hastings in 1066. William, the Conqueror, became the King of England, and started 400 years of Norman rule of England.
Bayeux was the first city liberated by the Allied forces after Normandy landing, it was spared from Allied bombing during the war thanks to a local chaplain who sent messages to London that it was not a German headquarter. So despite of its closeness to all the military actions, the historic city was able to remain intact with its beautiful medieval cathedral still standing.
we stayed in hotel d’Argouges, named after its original owner Lord d’ Argouges, a mini-chateau with a lovely private garden in the back. it is on the main street, yet offers a tranquil setting due to the set-back from the street.
the former salon is where they serve breakfast now,
Like many other nearby places in Normandy, there are many streets named after the Allied leaders and generals. French in this part at least are very nice to the Brits and Americans, their liberators.
The next day, we went to Mont St. Michel, an hour drive away from Bayeux.
Mont St. Michel is an island with the famous Abbey soaring above the tiny village. It is truly awe-inspiring, like a mirage on the horizon from the distance. Walking up to the abbey through the town is charming, we picked the outer detour path avoiding the traffic jam and tourist traps on the main central drag. the scenery is beautiful looking out to the sand dunes surrounding the island. it was low tide, people were walking on the sand beach just like pilgrims trying to reach this sanctuary many hundreds of years ago.
there are many charming restaurants, hotels and B&B’s on the island, it should be very nice to spend a night on the island to enjoy a tourist-free evening.
On the way out, we found Biscuiterie de la Baie du Mont St. Michel on road D275, a cookie shop that lets you taste their yummy buttery cookies and more importantly serves as a land mark for the best photo spot for a distant shot of MSM.
We drove on to visit the neighboring Brittany coast, passing by St Malo and visiting Dinan.
Dinan is a beautiful, well preserved medieval town, contained within its medieval ramparts(city wall), over the River Rance. it has its characteristic half timber Breton houses.
the tombstone without a head is a town mascot. during the Hundred Year War, there was so much death that prefab tombstones had to be made so that a portrait bust could be attached to this generic tombstone for proper burial.
Dinner at the Le Cantorberry in Dinan of local seafood was a treat. apparently it is a local favorite, we were lucky to get a table
Companion video: Normandy
发表于 2003-03-05 12:47
International Day Holiday On International Day, my family went to the Delta Island of Daya Bay to spend the holiday. The island is a beautiful vacationland. It spends about 8 minutes which is from the land to the island by a motorboat. The island is the first natural private island which had been bought with the approval of local government in our country. The area of the island is about 300 mus. There are three hills、three sandy beaches and one natural stone carving park. We lived in a villa, climbing the hills、swimming in the sea、watching ocean by a superboat、playing the fireworks and roasting. No interfering, no pollution, breathing the fresh air, enjoying sunshine、clean sandy beach、pure seawater、blue sky and white cloud, gulls hovering around us. It seemed to come in a Land of Peach Blossoms. We are all very happy.
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Perhaps the fallen boughs and the mess around were caused by a violent storm months ago. After the wood recovers its original serenity, the uprooted tree trunks have wore a layer of moss and been dappled with rusty and dry barks. The chilly air smells purified, together with odour of decayed plants and moist soil.
Often at the edge of the sea there are cliffs (high mountains), which give a great view over the sea. But they can also be dangerous, especially if they are eroded, when rocks and earth fall away into the sea. Most people prefer sandy beaches rather than pebble beaches (beaches with small stones). Sometimes, behind sandy beaches you can see sand dunes – areas of sand that the wind blows into small hills. Often, different types of grasses grow in the sand dunes.The coastline can be straight, or it can have bays which are often semi-circular in shape. It's often possible to walk along the coastline, along a coastal path.
In some countries, there are vast areas of open, flat land called plains (or prairies) which are used to grow various crops such as wheat (the grain used to make flour for bread.)
In the UK, between fields you can often see hedges (or hedgerows) – a natural barrier created by small trees and plants which grow close together. Often hedges are hundreds of years old, and they provide shelter for birds and other wildlife.
Mountain ranges are spectacular as you can often see snow-capped peaks against the skyline. From the top of a mountain (the summit or the peak), there are breathtaking views. Not much grows on mountains, as generally the terrain (ground) is rocky, but the air is often pure. However, the valleys (low areas encircled by the mountains) are more fertile. Where the mountains are steep, farmers often create terraces – they create a series of level areas linked by steps so that they can grow crops even on mountains and hills.
From the foothills of the mountains (the small hills nearest mountains), the scenery inland tends to be less dramatic with rolling hills and open countryside. You can find more farmland, but also forests or woods (smaller forests). The land is generally irrigated by rivers or lakes (areas of water which are enclosed) and streams (narrow paths of water).
The sinuous stream creeps down the narrow channel which has several sharp twists and turns and slight slopes on both sides. Radiated by the sunlight spots cast through the sparse foliage swaying over the branches, the stream looks opalescent while the rest part of the brook is steel blue instead. Along the shallow yet meandering river cut , the otherwise tranquil surface of the stream is ruffled by piles of withered twigs and brownish leaves. The trickle swirls around theseheaps and clashes on moss-and-leaf-covered rocks intruding over the brook, then, marching ahead to the next turn where there are some sienna shed leaves, floating and undulating with the ripples.