May 2003
Normandy, France
From 29/5 to 1/6 we went to Normandy in France. We saw Mont St. Michel, a German and US cemetery, Pirou castle, Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, the Bayeaux tapestry, the Caen Memorial Museum for Peace and the beautiful coast at Etretat.
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 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
1/25 Here we crossed the border of Belgium and France. We left Leiden on Thursday 29 May at 8:00 and drove in 10 hours to Mont St. Michel in Normandy. There we many traffic jams in Belgium.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
2/25 Here is the Pont du Normandie bridge. The bridge opened in January 1995, and was then the largest bridge of this type (spans 856m) in the world.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
3/25 We arrived at a campground near Mont St. Michel at 6pm, where we quickly set up our tent. We walked the 2km to Mont St. Michel.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
4/25 Walking through the beautiful narrow streets of Mt. St. Michel was like being in Disneyland. It was not very crowded in the evening, which was very nice. We had dinner at Le Croix Blanche.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
5/25 The following morning we got up early to beat the crowds visiting the abbey. We were one of the first to get in at 9am. When we came out a few hours later it was unbelievably crowded. There were billions of tourists and the narrow streets with souvenir shops were packed with people.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
6/25 The tide was low as we looked over the bay from a watch tower on the abbey. You can walk around the island when the tide is low.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
7/25 We next visited the Mont de Huisnes German war cemetery, which has 11956 graves.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
8/25 We followed the coast up north and visited the Chateau de Pirou.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
9/25 This is the Pointe du Hoc, further up the coast, between Utah and Omaha beach. The landscape was full of bombed-out German bunkers.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
10/25 Here's Arthur on Omaha Beach, one of the five D-Day beaches where the Allied forces invaded Normandy on 6 June 1944.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
11/25 On Friday night we set up our tent at this campsite.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
12/25 On Saturday morning we visited the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
13/25
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
14/25 This is the Bayeaux Cathedral, the original home of the famous tapestry.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
15/25 Arthur in front of the large doors of the cathedral.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
16/25 This is the entrance to the museum with the famous Bayeaux tapestry, which is really an embroidery. It was made in the 11th century, is 70 meters long and tells the story of the Battle of Hastings; why William the Conquerer felt he had to invade, the preparations made for the crossing and the battle itself.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
17/25 After Bayeaux we drove on to Caen, where we visited the very nice Caen Memorial Museum for Peace, a museum about the second world war and the peace movement.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
18/25 In the evening we checked into a hotel in the center of Caen. We decided not to camp as it was starting to rain slightly. That ended up to be a very wise decision as it rained and thunderstormed very hard all night.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
19/25 We walked around Caen and visited the Ch?teau de Caen, which is a very large castle complex, yet only the castle walls are left. Inside we saw a medieval herb garden and some old buildings.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
20/25 On Sunday morning we wanted to drive from Caen over Le Havre to Etretat. That turned out to be very difficult. The storm overnight had flooded many areas. We had to turn around many times, because of flooded tunnels, roads and even highways.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
21/25 We even saw some cars floating in water. Mud and rocks were sliding down the sides of hills and mountains and the roads were covered with rocks and boulders. We thought we were stuck a few times, because we had tried to go in many different directions and had to turn back every time.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
22/25 We eventually arrived in Etretat in the late morning. We came to see the rocky coast, which you can see here in the background. It is known as the "Alabaster Coast" because of the unique white colored cliffs.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
23/25 Here we are at the top of the rock that you see in the previous photo. It was a very nice walk and we had a nice view of the town.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
24/25 From the top we could see another natural bridge, on the south side of the one that we are on.
 - (1970-01-01 2003) - Photo Album Amy Evenstad and Arthur de Wolf
25/25 The landscape was very beautiful. Here we are climbing up a path, which was sometimes very scary with the sheer rock cliffs.