Monthly Archives: February 2013

Ste Honorine des Pertes, Normandie, Tuesday, 19th February 2013

Standard
Utah Beach

Chariot racing at Utah Beach

 

We are staying at this private motorhome aire on the D514 or Omaha Beach Road.  It has room for 35 motorhomes, the price of €6 includes electricity and it’s open all year.  There is only just another van here at the moment (just after midday), so we have lots of space around us as well as being nicely secluded by a hedge.  It’s very sunny and warm, as it’s been all week: just what I needed!

 

Monument to the American forces who landed at Utah Beach

Monument to the American forces who landed at Utah Beach

 

This morning we drove to Utah Beach, after spending the night at Isigny-sur-Mer, famous for its butter.  Once again, it was quite harrowing to see the monuments erected to the American soldiers fallen in WWII and frightening to see all the war paraphernalia left behind: tanks, air-raid guns, tank traps, etc.  There is also a museum here, but as we had already visited Arromanches and Juno’s previously, (http://fatimasaysell.com/2011/11/18/juno-beach-sun…t-october-2010/ ‎) we decided just to enjoy the walk in the sunshine and admire the enormous beach and the horses training on it for some sort of ‘chariot’ races.

WWII tank by museum

WWII tank by museum

 

Another tribute to the American forces

Another tribute to the American forces

 

Feb 13 109

 

We thought the Utah Beach campsite would be open, as it said in the guide, but it’s shut until April, so we started making our slow way back east, and here we are at St Honorine-des-Pertes, between Omaha and Arromanches.

 

Tank traps by Museum

Tank traps by Museum

Utah marvellous and enormous beach today

Utah marvellous and enormous beach today

 

A lone chariot

A lone chariot

 

We also enjoyed our quiet stay at the aire at Isigny-sur-Mer yesterday, with the parking bays neatly separated by hedges.  It’s free and it had a borne for water which cost €2 for 100 litres.  The aire is on the Quay Neuf, on the Port de Plaisance, nicely signposted and easy to find.

 

Motorhome aire at Isigny-sur-Mer, neatly divided by hedges

Motorhome aire at Isigny-sur-Mer, neatly divided by hedges, Port de Plaisance

 

We strolled around town, which was very quiet, and to the end of the quay for some bird watching on the marshes and the lovely view out to Côte de Nacre.

 

Enjoying a refreshing beer at Port de Plaisance

Enjoying a refreshing beer at Port de Plaisance

 

Port de Plaisance

Port de Plaisance

 

Looking out at Cote de Nacre

Looking out at Cote  de Nacre

 

Tomorrow we’re heading northeast, to St Valerie-en-Caux, as we really liked it there last time, with its magnificent motorhome aire right on the pier under the white chalk cliffs so much like Dover.

Honfleur, Calvados Dept, Sunday 17th February 2013

Standard
Honfleur quaint harbour

Honfleur quaint harbour

 

We have spent a most wonderful day at this very attractive and popular sea-side town of Honfleur in northwest France.  We arrived here shortly after 1 pm following the A16 from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Abbeville, A18 to southwest of Neuchatel-en-Bray and A29, crossing the magnificent and impressive Pont de Normandie.  The Motorhome aire costs €10 a day and it includes electricity and water in the price.  It is within a few minutes walk of the harbour and it commands wonderful views of the Normandy Bridge and surrounding marsh land.

 

Crossing the Pont de Normandie

Crossing the Pont de Normandie

 

We’ve just been for a long walk around the town, its public gardens and quay in the very welcome sunshine and blue skies, which I was so much in need of.

 

Strolling through Honfleur

Strolling through Honfleur

 

The town was heaving with tourists and the café terrazas were full with customers enjoying a drink in the winter sunshine.  We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our gentle stroll around the resort, a favourite amongst painters and affluent Parisians.  It was from here that explorers set sail for the New World and from where the Normans transported their goods back to England.  Samuel de Champlain left here in 1608 on his way to found Quebec City and in 1681 Cavalier de la Salle set off to explore the New World and, finding the mouth of the Mississippi, called the region Louisiana in honour of Louis XIV.

Honfleur Harbour

Honfleur Harbour

 

We loved the harbour and old buildings, as well as the Public Gardens with the Jardin des Personaltiés, where various busts of famous personalities with a connexion to Honfleur are placed within boat-shaped hedges.  We finished our walk with a nice beer in the harbour, sat outside just after 5 pm in the sun and, even though it wasn’t exactly cheap (€8.40 for 2 ½ pints) we felt it was worth every cent.

Le Jardin des personalites

Le Jardin des personalites

 

I just loved this fishing boat with its nets drying in the sun

I just loved this fishing boat with its nets drying in the sun

 

A different view of Honfleur harbour

A different view of Honfleur harbour

 

 

The Motorhome aire at Honfleur with the Normandy Bridge in the background

The Motorhome aire at Honfleur with the Normandy Bridge in the background

 

We had another smashing day in Boulogne-sur-Mer yesterday after doing our usual shopping at Auchan (junction 31 off A16).  We stayed at the motorhome aire on the cliff-top as we did 3 years ago when we first started motorhoming in 2010.  The co-ordinates are Lat 50° 44’ 39” N  Long 1° 35’ 50” E.  It’s good I can quote co-ordinates now, as we bought our new Guide Officiel Aires de Services Camping Car 2013, which for the first time includes this very useful information, even though we already knew about this particular one.  The overnight stop cost €5.25, which we paid to the very friendly gendarme who came at around 9 am on Sunday.

 

The motorhome aire on the clifftop at Boulogne-sur-Mer after sunset

The motorhome aire on the clifftop at Boulogne-sur-Mer after sunset

 

Once again, we set off to explore the sea-front promenade and we were delighted to find a couple of seals playing and splashing about in the sea very close to the shore.  I took a few pictures, despite the fact that it was hard to capture the exact moment when they popped out of the water.  We continued our walk all the way past Nausicaá, http://www.nausicaa.co.uk/ the local aquarium, and round back again to capture the most spectacular sunset, which I was very proud to photograph for posterity.  It was very interesting to see all the freshly caught fish stalls by the harbour, so we must remember this for next time we come.  We had already done our shopping, so we didn’t need it this time.

 

Seal playing in the water

Seal playing in the water

 

Seal waving in the water

Seal waving in the water

 

sea-front houses and restaurants at Boulogne-sur-Mer

sea-front houses and restaurants at Boulogne-sur-Mer

 

Nausicaa, the local aquarium

Nausicaa, the local aquarium

 

I loved all the sea birds gathered on the quay

I loved all the sea birds gathered on the quay

 

A cormorant drying its wings in the setting sun

A cormorant drying its wings in the setting sun

 

Spectacular sunset at Boulogne-sur-Mer

Spectacular sunset at Boulogne-sur-Mer

 

This has to be my best picture ever! Priceless sunset at Boulogne-sur-Mer

This has to be my best picture ever! Priceless sunset at Boulogne-sur-Mer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are heading for the landing beaches tomorrow and might make it as far as Utah Beach if time permits.