The best thing about a blog is being able to look back and remember the places you went and the people you met. I love to randomly search through this blog’s archives and find old posts and recall distant memories. Recently I was looking at some posts from a week I spent in Normandy France with my travel buddy, Paul Shoul in June 2009.
I have always had a love for this part of France, since it was the first region I visited when I was a 16-year-old, and we set out in a rental car with no GPS. Hilarity ensued as we tried to find our destinations; Paul always wanting to stop and ask directions, and me hoping to soldier on using a map. One time when Paul asked someone if they spoke English, they said “yes, but I’d rather not.” We made it anyway.
Trips that I take so often become a blur, but I have great memories of this particular Normandy adventure, because we saw so many unusual things. One was a bell foundry where giant bells were created by pouring molten bronze into molds, another time we stayed at a hotel in Granville, and saw a tide that left boats high and dry on the sand.
We spent a lot of time at the World War II Memorial at Caen, which was a great portrayal of all aspects of the war, including what caused it and the experiences of the death camps. One thing that I also remember fondly was staying at a castle in the village of Brix, each of us got a bedroom that was the size of a King’s salon. Later I biked into the village and stumbled upon a great party, with 200 or so revelers enjoying their cheese courses, five selections on a
china plate, and quaffing wine that came out of boxes. We met a lovely man who had the most incredible garden I’ve ever seen–perfect rows, not a weed to be seen, and he said he never went shopping, he just ate every meal out of this bounteous garden. He baked wonderful bread, every day, in his own wood fired oven.
I have trips coming up but I still love thinking about the trips that I did in years gone by. Here’s to a summer of more adventures, and to my traveling buddy Paul, with whom I hope to travel with again soon.