Monday, November 14, 2011

Normandy, part trois

From Cherbourg we headed west on Monday morning, to the very northwest corner of the Contentin peninsula and Goury. With its tiny harbor and lighthouse, it painted a very pretty picture, and we spent an hour skipping stones, running back and forth with the waves and photographing the scene.

Just south of Goury is the Baie d’Écalgrain with its rocky beach backed by heathland. We almost didn’t pull into the parking lot, but luckily turned around and came back, and this turned out to be my favorite beach of the trip. A little more sheltered from the wind with far fewer people than the other beaches, we could feel the power behind each wave as it pulled at the rocks when rushing back to the sea.

Another little bit south and we reached Nez de Jobourg, a rocky and barren promontory (currently a bird sanctuary). The beautiful views in all directions also meant we were more exposed to the elements, and so after a short hike and picnic lunch we were back in the car headed south. A short detour to an overlook across Vauville Bay was our final stop before returning to the highway and settling in for a longer drive south.

Mont-St-Michel is many things in one; it is a rocky outcrop, it is an abbey, it is a salty grass marsh, it is a village, it is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a pilgrimage destination and it is a very popular tourist spot! We timed our visit to be able to explore the village in daylight, watch the sunset over the bay from the steps of the church, then dine in one of the little restaurants before heading to our hotel in Pontorson (5 km south of Mont-St-Michel). This meant we were arriving as most people were leaving, as the last entry into the abbey is at 5pm this time of year, but we were content to tour the outer defenses, village and ramparts, viewing the abbey from all sides, and it was a relief not to have to battle the tides of people after the solitude we had experienced over the past days.

Tuesday we ate breakfast and then hit the road. The countryside in this area of France was gorgeous, and I finally found the fall color I had been searching for since September! Poplars, maples and sumacs were shedding their red and gold, yet the pastureland was still very green, with the occasional crop of blooming bright yellow rapeseed. Once inland we traded the sunlight for clouds and rain, but the warmth of the sunshine that had accompanied us on our entire journey through Normandy up until this point warmed us on the rest of the trip home.

1 comment:

  1. Tikko atradu Tavus aprakstus par Normandiju, kur gatavojamies doties Ziemassvētku laikā. Ir kādi ieteikumi, kurus būtu vērts ņemt vērā, jo brauksim ar bērniem un mašīnu. :) Vai tiešām piekrastē var dabūt baudīt austeres no vietējām zvejnieku sievām jebkurā laikā un vietā?


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