We loved Paris, but we knew that the countryside would be more our style. We spent 3 days on the Northern coast of France, where life is slower and there is space to relax.
Tuesday, August 28
The train from Paris to Bayeux was relaxing and gave us a glimpse into the country. We arrived in Bayeux and realized that our rental car pickup was actually close to 2 miles away, a 40-minute walk (truly the only hiccup of the trip!). We hoofed it with our luggage through the town and next to the highway to get to the car. We picked up our little 2-door black Fiat and made our way to the B&B, la Villa Port Winston, where we checked in to see our charming spot for the next few days. We could see the ocean from our bedroom window, with German defenses still sitting in the water.
We drove to the next town over, Arromanches-les-Bains, where I had classic Normandy-style mussels with frites and a cider. The sweet town has a pedestrian-only shopping area and great views of the ocean.
We then drove to the breathtaking Omaha Beach cemetery, which started our D-Day tour.
For dinner, we stopped in Port-en-Besson, which we agreed could be the perfect place for a long trip to the coast sometime in the future. So many small streets, nice shops, and beautiful views of the ocean.
I stocked up on the regional staples like specialty sea salts, whole grain mustard, sardines, jams, and salted caramel.
Wednesday, August 29
After our delicious B&B breakfast of croissants and fruit with Brie for me, and ham and baguette for Dan, we were off for the main portion of our D-Day tour. We drove to Utah beach, Sainte-Mère-Église (parachute church), and Juno beach.
For dinner, we made our way back to the B&B and walked to the small restaurant next door, la Barak’a, thinking it was a small brewery next to a fish market. In fact, it was a bustling restaurant (even on a Wednesday) where we had an incredible and giant meal. The photo below is just my appetizer. The rest of my meal included skate wing, a cheese course, and dessert of chocolate cake. I would go back here to eat any day.
Thursday, August 30
Our last relaxing day in Normandy had the final destination of Honfleur, a port town reminiscent of Copenhagen. Slender, colorful buildings and lots of fun sightseeing.
We started the day at Sword beach and Pegasus bridge, to wrap up the D-Day sights.
Then we stopped in the vacation town of Cabourg for lunch, where we had the traditional croque monsieur and croque madame.
We then ventured on to Honfleur, where we wandered the streets for hours. I got a traditional striped shirt and we had an afternoon snack of crepes with ice cream (with a side of wine).
And, naturally, we saw lots of cows.