Five reasons I love spending time in Normandy, France
This month we celebrated Veteran’s Day. If there is one region in Europe that I think of when it comes to veterans it is Normandy France. If you are not familiar with this region it is located in Northern France along the English Channel. Here are five reasons I love spending time in Normandy France.
Reason #1 — D-Day sites
These sites are magnificent. It is a life-changing experience to see these sites. Therefore, I encourage all Americans to visit the D-day sites if they can. At a minimum, I recommend touring the D-day museum in Caen, Omaha Beach, the American cemetery, and Pointe Du Hoc where the US Army Rangers scaled the cliffs.
Reason #2 — Mont St. Michel
This site is a must-see in Europe. If you are in the region, be sure to visit here. Mont St. Michel is unbelievable — different than any other site I have experienced in Europe. I recommend arriving late in the afternoon. Spend the night and tour in the morning. This approach helps you avoid the busloads of tourists that come here every day. Once again — go here if you can. It is mind-blowing.
Reason #3 — city of Bayeux
If you are visiting the D-day sites, this city is the place to home base. Bayeux also has a fascinating history and a wonderful church. A local museum contains the Bayeux tapestry which tells of the tale of 1066 when the Battle of Hastings took place. William the Conqueror crossed the English Channel, kicked ass, and took over England.
Reason #4 — art
Many French artists love visiting this area to paint it. One, in particular, Claude Monet, decided to live here. Be sure to visit Giverny where his house is located. Monet painted many of his famous gardens and water lilies there. I am not much of an art guy, but I do love me some Monet.
Reason #5 — Regional culture
The culture of the Normandy region is unique. The best way to rememer it is the C’s. Savory crepes eat like a meal. Camebert cheese is from here. They make a lot of cidar. It is more popular than beer and wine in this region. You can taste why. Let’s not forget about the local firewater known as Calvados. It burns going down — that is for sure. Lastly, they love putting cream on all the food.
Bonus reason — French love Americans here
Normans love Americans. Some people believe that the French do not like Americans which is simply not true. Here they don’t like Americans, they love them because of the sacrifice made by our troops to free this land during WWII. This area simply appreciates what America did for its people many years ago.
Three quick questions about the region of Normandy France.
- What is my favorite place — American cemetery. It is a moving experience to visit this sacred place.
- What is my favorite site — Pointe du Hoc. As an Army Ranger I consider this site as holy ground.
- What is the best-hidden gem — Rouen. A city with a fascinating history and stunning church.