France day 4 – heading home

Today was our last day in France and it’s been another excellent but tiring day. This morning was started out trying to find somewhere to buy a coffee before 9am (and failed) and then went back into Avranches to see the skull in Eglise Saint Gervais – failed there too as it’s being refurbished. Would have been nice if the parish web site would have mentioned it!!

We went for a nice coffee in Avranches and bought a Euromillions ticket, which I must remember to check, and then travelled back north to Zoo de Champrepus.

I have to say that was one of the best zoos I’ve ever visited. Sure it’s not got the appeal of London’s and the worthy causes of Durrell but it was a fab attraction.

We had a nice lunch in the rain there before starting to head for St Malo, stopping off at a biscuit factory shop. Some nice samples tested too.

In St Malo we went to the aquarium which whilst it was quite expensive and very busy it was still really good with an excellent ride called the Nautibus. Then a bit of shopping before getting in the queue for the ferry.

Now I wouldn’t normally whine about travel doing so much of it these days, but clearly Condor carry more passengers than they can efficiently service. Certainly if the queues at Duty Free and the food bar are anything to go by.

In the end the final mileage was 840km. A few more than expected due to some weird sequencing of visits due to the grim weather. We will most definitely be back sometime and look forward to planning another trip soon.

Several hundred photos to come soon. Lucky you 😉

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France day 3 – cemeteries, rain and shopping

The above pretty much sums up today. The route was a slightly odd one from Bayeux to Sainte-Mere-Eglise via Colville-sur-mer then down to Avranches.

This morning we visited the extraordinary cemeteries of the German and American second world war forces. In all honesty they aren’t my sort of visit but the sheer scale of each can’t help but affect you.

Then on to Sainte-mere-Eglise for a quick trip round their market and their beautiful church. A really lovely looking place.

On then to Avranches and a bit of shopping and then some more shopping.

Tonight we had a lovely meal and then a bit of a wander around Avranches before heading back to the hotel for a few games of Yahtzee!

All in all and leaving aside the mainly pi55 poor weather it’s been a good day and a real shame we’re off home tomorrow. Still got lots to do though!

France day 2 – Valframbert-Bayeux

Today has been such a long busy day but its been very enjoyable too. I have such sore legs now after doing so much walking.

We started off with a nice drive up to Pegasus Bridge on the north coast, visiting the museum up there. Then visited a war cemetry then along past the Normany landing beaches, stopping off on the way at Luc-sur-mer (I think it was called) for lunch.

Changing our plans a bit we then drove to Bayeux through some pretty towns with awful roads and went to see the Bayeux Tapestry. We then came to our hotel and went back into Bayeux itself for an amazing meal. Bayeux cathedral in particular was quite a sight.

The town of Bayeux suprised me. It’s really quiet apart from this one modern bar on the high street.

Another surprise today was the comedy pronunciation by our Garmin GPS. Bayeux became “Bikes” or something similar and this morning we apparently drove down Rue de Ra-Ra-Ra Go.

Bit of a varied, less planned day tomorrow but should take in a zoo somewhere along the way. Looking forward to it!

France day 1

So today was a simple little 300km (or so) trip in the car, following the ferry from Jersey, going from Saint-Malo to Le Mans then to this hotel near Alencon.

Driving here in France has really been surprisingly easy. I really thought being on the wrong side of the road would make a difference to me but it just hasn’t. Yeah the speed is more than Jersey (like double) but that’s about it. As I said to someone tonight maybe if we were in towns with a lot of one-way streets then you’d find it tough but it’s been really good.

The motor museum just outside the Bugatti circuit at Le Mans was outstanding. A real mix of old and new. My pa-in-law knew the old while I could pick out the newer cars. I loved being that close to a Jaguar XJR-8 (I think – excuse me if I got number wrong). The “Silk Cats” really meant a lot to me when I was first getting into motor racing so being up close to one was great. Got lots of pics to share soon too.

Also I was a bit taken aback by my own reaction to something. My daughter asked me about a book simply called (and you must excuse me if I have date wrong) “19 July 1955”. I thought I knew the answer but thinking I could be wrong I just opened the book.

I saw a photo with a fire raging in the background and bodies lying all over the front of it. Immediately I realised I was right. The Pierre Levegh crash meant so much to the sport I love that I can’t let it pass unmentioned but at the same time this book reminded me it was a human tragedy. Many many motor sport fans died that day. It’s a story that deserves reading even if only to realise where we come from as a sport. The book contained photos so of-the-time and so clear that I almost couldn’t look too closely at them for fear of seeing something you really shouldn’t.

Driving on to Valframbert (south of Alencon) was good tonight. We have a fab hotel room. The meal we had was beautiful. The company was excellent. So now we’re left looking forward to an early start and a good but long time.