St Valery en Caux, Courseilles sur Mer, Avranche and Kerne, France Week 78 17th - 22nd October 2012
From Calais towards Normandie and Britagne the brick architecture is distinctive.
Looks like very thick walls.
But a bit more "conventional" through the middle of Dieppe.
Spent a night in the Aires at St Valery en Caux.

The tourist season has definitely ended.

The other side of the white cliffs.

Not quite so white.

The horizontal lines of stones every 300mm or so in the cliffs have been left on the beach.

Rounded but far from round.

Getting warmer but not warm enough to encourage us to stop for long we headed south and west.

Over the Pont de Normandie at Le Havre.

And a change from bricks to stones.
Courseulles sur Mer is one end of Juno Beach. Part of the Allies landing to regain France.

This is an amphibious (duplex) Sherman tank used by the 6th Canadian Armoured Regiment. 07:30 6/6/1944. Kept afloat by inflatable rubber tubes. Now displayed in the town square.

The irony of it having been recovered from the sea after 27 years seems to have been lost!

Peaceful now. Just us and the seagulls. Hard to imagine what it must have been like during the invasion.

We quietly hope we (and anyone else) will never find out.

We had a quiet night in the Aires at the eastern end of town.

Off the beach at Arromanches are concrete caissons floated across the channel and used to create an artificial harbour for Gold Beach.

We were really just passing and the car park was 5 Euros. We didn't feel the need to visit the cinema and other tourist attractions. For us the caissons were the important bit.

A bit more than landing a few troops on a beach. More of the industry of war.

West of Arromanches we stopped on the outskirts of Longues sure Mer.

The German Batterie de Longues was four 152 mm guns built in 1944.

It threatened Gold and Omaha beaches and was finally disabled by naval bombardment then over run by troops.

The guns are set back from the cliff about 200m.

This was used to aim the guns.

A murky day but the caissons at Arromanches still visible.
We didn't follow the road to the end. We can see why the beaches were more attractive than the cliffs for invasion.
Onward to Avranche.
We walked up the remains of 13th century wall. The Roman keep disappeared in the 19th century.

And a chance encounter with a tourist tout while Ali was waiting abortively in the tourist info office for a map. Slim pickings for the bottle of beer carrying tout - had to wonder at the image!

The Aires is near the centre of the town. Also near are gardens.

Had it been a nicer day we would have seen Mont St Michel in the distance.

Fortunately we've been there on a previous trip.

Avranche also has the Scriptorium. A museum containing papers from Mont St Michel. There wasn't much evidence of English sub titles so we gave it a miss.

A nice touch though, the ceramic tile sign seems to be weathering well.

But we did admire the plants in the gardens.
We decided a day on motorways would help our progress. Just like in China, so many months ago, the minor roads are more interesting, but much slower.

And in weather like this it doesn't seem to make a lot of difference to the interest..

We headed down the penninsula to Quiberon.

Our aim is the nearby megaliths of Carnac.

Intrigued by the  seven sided area taped off.

This is the Cote Sauvage. Open to the Atlantic which has carved the course granite.

Hard not to tread the sand into Tardis.

Camped in the Aires at Kerne.

A walk along the coast and an obliging bird.

An interesting coast as the large waves roll in.
Sunday morning brought a bit of sunshine and a few yachts having a sail.

We did a bit of housework and busied ourselves doing nothing.

This little over-engineered gem is the entrance to the Aires at Kerne, near Quiberon.

Similar to other Aires in the area.

Only accepts credit cards. 

Our credit card failed. Twice.

On the basis we'd tried hard we took the back way in. Good clearance has to be useful sometimes. 

Went for a walk past the Tour de Locmarie.

Originally built in 1636, then rebuilt for Napoleon III as a signal tower, then rebuilt again in 1976 after being destroyed during the war.

With a view out to Isle de Croix. About 25 km away.
And across the water to Carnac, about 10 km away.
Lots of holiday homes, and small paddocks fit for caravans and motorhomes.

With little lanes just right for a game of boulles.

Didn't get a close enough look at the "how to lift a boulle without bending" device.

Couldn't help but notice all the other failures of the gate system.

These people are trying to escape.

After 15 minutes of trial and error they finally made it.

Failure rate at entry is about 30%. Some people simply park and sleep at the entrance.

There's no contact phone number.

And so we settled in to watch the waves roll in and the sun set after a relaxing day.

Eventually someone in a queue of 7 for the gate made a few phone calls so after 3 hours a repair man turned up. No admin menu or built in diagnostics so let the post down until further repairs!

All this did mean we met and had a friendly drink with Denis, Martine, Francoise and Jaques. We now know a bit more about France.

Megaliths and Dolmens, Carnac, France Week 78 23rd October 2012

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