From Tours to Omaha Beach

June 18th, 2013

 The beginning of our trip to France had the potential of being a little rocky because of the French air traffic controllers’ strike and the railway personnel who followed suit.  Our flight was delayed in the US, but it was because of storms there and not because of anything going on in France. We arrived safely and experienced no delays at the airport or at the train station for our trip to Tours.  The above picture was taken after a day of rest at Carol and Laurent’s home as we prepared for the first day of our “Ride in Tours” motorcycle adventure.  Laurent is on the right.  Our friends Tulin and Dave are in the middle.

Before leaving Carol, Tulin and I enjoyed a day of shopping in old downtown Tours.

Carol made delicious meals for us.  There is something about French fruits and vegetables that sets them apart.  The above stuffed peppers and tomatoes were delicious.

Our first stop on the trip was at Camembert.  You would think that a village with the reputation of making such a fine cheese would be large, but after wandering down narrow lanes we found the tiny community nestled in the hills.  Although camembert had its origins here where it was made from unpasteurized cows milk, it is now made with pasteurized milk and is produced in several different places.  We bought a wheel of cheese to enjoy with our evening bottle of wine.

 Our first stop for the evening was in the coastal harbor of Honfleur.  The Normandy architecture was evident along the narrow streets.

The harbor of Honfleur is a popular summer destination for Parisians because it is only an hour and a half away.  Historically it had military significance  as it protected the entrance of the Seine river from any enemies interested in attacking Paris.  Aesthetically, it drew artists to its wonderful light and beautiful surroundings.

I could have spent days here wandering the streets and shopping in the small boutiques and brocantes.  Maybe another time.

The visit to the American Cemetery on Omaha Beach was the highlight of our next day’s ride.  The magnitude of the experience is hard to describe.  Over 9,000 graves of our fallen soldiers line the ground overlooking the sea.

 Laurent brought an American flag with him on his bike so that we could pose at the memorial with it.  A European tourist said Thank You to us as he passed by.  To this day, Americans are respected in Normandy.  That is all for now.

9 responses to “From Tours to Omaha Beach”

  1. Penny @ The Comforts of Home says:

    You are bringing back memories of my trip. We loved Honfleurs. We had a wonderful mussel and frites lunch at one of the restaurants there. The cemetery was very humbling. Looks like you are enjoying your trip.

  2. Darla says:

    Hi Penny, So glad to see that everyone arrived safely and I’m sure you will have much more to share. Looking forward to seeing your posts. Is your hubby blogging? Must have been a humbling experience at Omaha Beach. Stay safe!

  3. Sam Hoffer says:

    How cool that Laurent brought an American flag. What a fabulous trip you are on Penny. So glad to see the pictures of Honfleurs. I’ve heard so much about it from friends. We would love to visit Normandy one day. As the others have said, what a humbling experience. Have fun and we’re looking forward to more.


  4. Mary Sullivan says:

    Normandy is still on my wish list – thank you Penny for sharing your visit and please thank Laurent for taking the flag along, that was a lovely thing to do.

    Onward, know your adventure will be full of amazing places – looking forward to seeing more when you can post.
    Take care – hugs, Mary

  5. Vagabonde says:

    I read in Sam’s My Carolina Kitchen all about your bloggers get together and came to your blog to look at
    recipes. What a surprise to see my home of France instead! Isn’t Honfleur so picturesque? I used to go there often. I admire your courage to drive in France. I used to drive in Paris all the time and now don’t know how I did it – I would get scared now! We used to have a house in Normandie and I went to all the war sites – it’s very moving. I’ll look forward to more of your trip.

  6. Susan says:

    I wish I could have hitched a ride in your suitcase. At least I have your photos which are lovely!

  7. Chris says:

    Great scenery and photos with a touching end.

  8. Karen (Back Road Journal) says:

    What a wonderful trip you are on with your friends. I’ll be following along as your posts will bring back memories of past trips to that area. My husband and I rode many a mile on Harleys but never in Europe. Ride safe.

  9. K. Wright says:

    And here are your photos! I should have known no one is as slow to post as I am. Although we’ve wanted to visit Normandy, I’ve not thought much of the surrounding villages — so lovely! I completely understand wanting to stay longer in a town. There never seems to be enough time when we travel. I’m loving your photos!

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