Jour Neuf: More rain?  Geech! - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

June 19, 2011

Jour Neuf: More rain?  Geech!

If I hear one more person say, 'you should have been here the last two months, the weather has been perfect,' I'm going to strangle them! OK, I won't really strangle them because I'll be thrown in a French jail, though that might not be as bad as it sounds because, cri-mini the French can COOK! They can cook the pants off anyone, so even a French jail might not be too bad...

...but, I digress. What I meant was, I'm getting tired of rain.

It started out sunny though and it was a fun start to the day in the campground. The Frenchman who said hello last night said hello again this morning as he walked by my camp site. Well, one thing lead to another and, through the help of Roger, a Belgium who served as interpreter, I learned that Albert was 11-years old when France was liberated in 1944. He spoke about how emotional it was, how there wasn't a dry eye in the land.

After we were done talking I gave him one of my lapel pins, the one with the crossed French and American Flags. He really appreciated it and walked away. A few minutes later he came back with a small chain with a little charm for me. It will help me remember the day.

A little while later I rolled out of the campground to the goodbyes of 7 or eight people, including his wife.

After that it was on to McDonalds. Yes, you heard me right, McDonalds, THAT McDonalds. The funny thing is I rarely eat there at home, but they do have free wifi so I went for a cup of coffee. Aside from the wifi I'm glad I went, it was interesting how it had a slightly French flare, with the 'Grand' coffee being really strong and a little smaller than a small at home. They also give you a little chocolate with the coffee. How French.

After that I was on my way west, to the D-Day sites. I visited all of the British and Canadian landing zones (Gold, sword and Juno beaches). It was quite a site and a part of the battle Americans don't hear much about.

In one of the towns I met a really nice couple from Wales and we talked about all of it. They had been to the states several times, by the way, and they were fun to talk to. They also invited me to stay with them if I'm ever in Wales. WOO-HOOO!

Anyway, I saw a lot of D-day stuff, including German bunkers, but also what remains of the Mulberry harbors at Arromanche.

After that I rode through the Norman countryside and the landscape seemed to change. It was more rural, or something, but also more, I guess, stone house and small lane like. I really enjoyed it.

But then it started raining, again! I had really hoped to camp but by the time I got to a cute little harbor town east of Omaha Beach it was a steady rain and I was not in the mood to get all of my crap wet. So, I got a cheap hotel.

It wasn't a total loss though. I had the best meal I can remember in a LONG time! I ventured out in the rain and found a restaurant that serves crepes. I ordered one that was buckwheat (I think) with cheese, mushrooms and an egg. There might have been some other stuff but I don't think so. Anyway, it was FABULOUS! GEEECH. For desert I had another crepe, with some kind of caramel sauce and a little ice cream and orange and kiwi slices around the side. They were both a work of art and I was sorry I didn't have my camera with me. All I can say is, it's no wonder everyone in France smokes, there food is orgasmic and they all need a cigarette afterwards!

As for tomorrow, I may adjust my plans and do some indoor things and hope for brighter skies soon.

Until then...

P.S., for those of you on my SPOT, you may have noticed I'm a day behind in myt journal. No worries, I'll catch up, but there's a lot to do and I can't always get wifi.

Alfred, who was 11-years old on June 6, 1944
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My friends at the campsite. Sorry everyone, I don't usually cut myself out of pictures but my hair was sticking straight up...you'll just have to deal with it this time ;-)
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Coffee at a French McDonalds. Complete with chocolate mint :-)
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Along one of the beaches moving west...
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Now isn't THIS a good idea. Take note California!
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One of the many D-Day memorials
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D-day map...
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My friends from Wales :-)
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Cyclists in the French countryside
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German Bunker on Juno Beach
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Wild poppies are all over here
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Norman Church
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French farm looking towards coast
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The town of Arromache. Notice Mulberry harbors on the right.
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Replica Landing Craft
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Mulberry harbors up close
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I have to admit, I'm sometimes a little confused by the road signs here. But there is no mistaking what THIS sign means!
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It's laundry day! ;-)
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Today's ride: 51 km (32 miles)
Total: 257 km (160 miles)

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