France

France

Bordeaux, Brittany, & Normandy

 

After our food fest in San Sebastian, Spain we departed for France, where we would spend the next 9 nights exploring beautiful Western and Northern France by train, bus, and car.

 

We began this adventure by hopping a bus from San Sebastian to Bordeaux, a port city and hub for the famed wine growing region...and we came for the vino!  We stayed with a French family who owned a cafe in the center of town.  They prepped the quiches, to be served the following day, from the kitchen of our Airbnb house, an awesome and authentic experience!  From grabbing a quiche at their cafe, eating French classics foie gras and crepes at various restaurants in the city, to wine tasting tours and even catching our first movie in four months, here our a few faves from our time spent in this classic French city…

Laura nuzzles with the house pet
Laura nuzzles with the house pet
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the streets of Bordeaux
the streets of Bordeaux
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reflection pool
reflection pool
great hosts, great chefs!
great hosts, great chefs!
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foie gras and vino, the perfect pair!
foie gras and vino, the perfect pair!
Sean waits in line to buy tickets to our first movie of the year, the little things!
Sean waits in line to buy tickets to our first movie of the year, the little things!
the movie theatre was a restored church, very cool
the movie theatre was a restored church, very cool
crepes on crepes
crepes on crepes
wine tasting chateau
wine tasting chateau
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modern vineyard
modern vineyard
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ancient vineyard
ancient vineyard
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the crime scene, it was a very nice red we bought at a vineyard
the crime scene, it was a very nice red we bought at a vineyard
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From Bordeaux we caught a train to our next destination, one that was certainly off the beaten path which was a goal of ours during our travels through the French countryside.  Not many French we had spoken to had even heard of the small country village of Rochefort-en-Terre, where we spent the next three nights.  A medieval town with a population of only 600 in the Brittany region, Rochefort-en-Terre was a perfect place for us to relax and experience the country.  We unfortunately hopped off the train a stop early, realized there was ZERO means of transport available to get to our destination...  luckily we were able to hitch hike (we only had to offer a case of beer!).

the quiet and beautiful Rochefort-en-Terre
the quiet and beautiful Rochefort-en-Terre
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snoozin
snoozin
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hour bike ride to the closest market
hour bike ride to the closest market
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We loved our time in the quaint Rochefort-en-Terre.  However we were very excited (Sean in particular) to visit our next French region, Normandy.  This time we would travel by car (and unlike South Africa, the French drive on the correct side of the road!).  

 

We drove 3 hours along the tranquil French countryside to the incredible Le Mont Saint-Michel, an island community located off the country's northwestern coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River and certainly one of the more unique villages we will see anywhere in the world…

view of the isolated village from afar
view of the isolated village from afar
Le Mont Saint Michel
Le Mont Saint Michel
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After strolling the streets of Mont Saint Michel, remarkably still inhabited by a handful of people, we headed east towards the city of Caen, home to some of the most significant WWII battles, memorials, and minutes from the famed Omaha Beach, location of the Allies D-Day landings.  Sean, extremely intrigued by the historical impact this area had on the world and in America,  booked a half day tour.

 

The tour, without doubt the most impactful and emotional part of our trip, was truly an inspiring experience.  It included visits to the D-Day American Cemetery, local villages ravaged by war, and the famous Omaha Beach where Allies outsmarted and outfought their way to victory.  Over 9,300 are buried at the American D-Day Cemetery, including an unfathomable 41 sets of brothers…  

Normandy, remnants of the war remain in the ocean
Normandy, remnants of the war remain in the ocean
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a rainy day on Omaha Beach
a rainy day on Omaha Beach
before and after
before and after
german ammo bunker
german ammo bunker
American D-Day Cemetary
American D-Day Cemetary
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After a emotional tour, we departed the following morning for Paris, with an overnight stay in the town of Igny (where our awesome host and her family treated us to pizza and beer, thanks again Marie-Dominique!) and pit stops along the way that included visits to the Palace of Versailles (home to Kings and Queens of France up unitl the French Revolution) and Claude Monet’s gardens and home in the village of Giverny…

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Monet's garden
Monet's garden
Laura can't get enough!
Laura can't get enough!
thee actual lily pond, inspiration for the painting
thee actual lily pond, inspiration for the painting
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Palace of Versaille
Palace of Versaille
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Loved exploring the Western and Northern regions of France, however it was time for some big city living… Paris here we come!!!

9 Comments on “France

  1. so look forward to every ‘issue’ of moving n’ groovin – though this one made me tear up for sure….thank you both for sharing this journey!

  2. Ohhhhh awesome post and pictures! My dad is from Brittany and my cousins live in Normandy. Every American that can should do the beaches-surreal!!

  3. What can I say! Beautiful, charming, breathtaking, poinent, emotional, spectacular. Thank you for sharing. Seeing Normandy will impact your lives forever.

  4. I am posting this message with tears still in my eyes.
    My father landed on that beach in Normandy. I so long to walk that beach myself!
    The food, the flowers, the inns and the mirth….country after country…the experience of a lifetime!
    P.S. Sorry you missed connecting with Lauren in Ireland!

    1. Hi Judes! So grateful for your father serving our country and a Happy Memorial Day. It means even more to us after seeing and learning about the war first hand while in Normandy. We highly recommend getting to Omaha Beach one day, it was an incredible experience.
      PS… bummed we missed Lauren in Ireland, but will be seeing her this upcoming weekend in Berlin!

  5. Jeff & I will be in Paris in June & will be in Normandy…cannot wait. Your photos are just beautiful The one of Monet’s garden are perfect…look like the painting!

    1. Sheryl, is that pre Greece!? Sounds like an amazing trip! Let us know if you want any info on Paris or Normandy 🙂

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