THE NORMANDY AND WESTERN FRONT SERIES, DAY 7&8
CAEN – PEGASUS – MERVILLE – ETRETAT – DEAUVILLE – HONFLEUR – ROUEN
The best viewpoint museum and cafe in France. After listening to a fella throw up outside my hotel room I finally made it to sleep for a decent kip before one of the biggest museums I have been to.
I REFUSED TO BELIEVE THE LADY WE MET YESTERDAY SAID WE NEEDED AT LEAST HALF A DAY AT THIS MUSEUM…SHE WAS RIGHT.
If you can only visit one museum during your time here then visit Caen Memorial Museum. It’s an incredible size and when the lady last night said we needed at least half a day, she wasn’t wrong.
WHERE IS ROUEN?
CAEN MEMORIAL MUSEUM
Caen museum covers everything from the period just after world war 1 and right up to the 90s including the Cold War. It also covers the Holocaust in great details and is only bettered by the Holocaust Museum in DC. The museum can be accompanied by an audio guide or can be done with QR codes from your phone if you sign up.
DAY 7 DAILY INFO….
- HOTEL – Brit Hôtel privilège Deauville Sud 7/10
- RESTAURANT – L’Etoile 8.5/10
- ATTRACTIONS –
Caen Memorial Museum 8.5/10
Pegasus Memorial Museum 6.5/10
Pegasus Bridge 8/10
Merville Gun Battery 8.5/10
Pointe de la Courtine 8.5/10
DAY 8 DAILY INFO….
- HOTEL – Best Western Plus 8/10
- RESTAURANT – Les Maraichers 8/10
- ATTRACTIONS –
Le Gros Horloge 5/10
Rouen Cathedral 7/10
PEGASUS MEMORIAL & BRIDGE
One of the most important pre battles of the D Day landings. 180 Royal Engineers flew in to take control of this town and bridge. It was important that the bridge was kept intact as the Germans had explosives set but the element of surprise prevented them from detonating any.
The bridge has since been replaced but the original is within the grounds of the nearby museum and although not the most exciting museum, still worth a visit to see the bridge and replica gliders.
The best viewpoint museum and cafe in France
DAILY TRAVEL STATS….
- Steps – 11,700 & 12,200
- Miles covered – 182.3 miles
Famous for being the first building to be liberated by the Allies, Cafe Gondree is now the busiest cafe this side of Paris. The young lady who was only 5 when the Germans took it from her family still owns and works at the front desk to this day, relentless! I had to say, “still working?” to which she responded, “you have too,” relentless!
MERVILLE GUN BATTERY
France isn’t short of gun emplacements but most of them offer something different. However some offer unique experiences and no more so than here. Merville Gun Battery is more like a museum, similar to Azeville in the value it gives the visitor. Several of the pillboxes have been fitted out with weapons, supplies and demos for you to watch but the best part is without doubt the full immersive experience at the final pillbox. Here you can watch from the pov of the Germans, hear, see, smell and feel what goes on when the battery is defending against a heavy attack. It’s an incredible show and worth visiting!
POINTE DE LA COURTINE
Our final stop was a 3 hour round trip out to a small town called Etretat for nothing more than a viewpoint. And it was worth every mile and wrong turn taken!
If you’re mad about beaches, cliffs and dunes then this little gem will have no doubt featured on your Instagram feed! Taking my parents this far off the beaten path to a place like this and my dad asks for a picture at the adjacent golf course!
Tonight we kipped at Deauville and our hotel (Brit Hôtel privilège Deauville Sud) seemed to be in yet another industrial estate 🤣. However the dinner (L’Etoile) was again on another level, shout out to mum for not getting one wrong yet!
After getting it in the ear over the last week, I relented and gave the rents a lie in. They might rarely be in bed early but they do prefer getting up after 8am. They love their lie ins like they love their tea, scones and wine…every morning!!!
We had a quick stop off in Honfleur, a quaint seaside/marina town just across from Le Harve. It is surely a tourist hop spot, with its heaps of cafes, restos and souvenir shops which line the marina.
Rouen is of a similar ilk but it’s history goes back as far at the famous heroine Joan D’Arc. She was trialed by the British and burned at the stake. Her cross stands in the main square as a constant reminder of her efforts.
LE GROS HORLOGE & CATHEDRAL
Not wanting to get side tracked on other history lessons we kept it brief here. An audio tour of the Clocktower and trip to the cathedral was as exciting as it got here but again very worthwhile and a semi busy day was just what the doctor ordered!
- HIGHLIGHT – Pegasus Bridge or Caen Memorial if you have a spare 12 hours
- MVP – The waiters at L’Etoile
We have now finished the Normandy leg of our trip and it exceeded all expectations, from good omelettes to people being sick outside my hotel room, it had it all and long may it continue!!!
Checking out the Battle of the Somme, one of the worst battles the world has seen!! Would it be bad to say I can’t wait? Click to read.
SAFE TRAVELS, DS x
- Have you seen this viewpoint in Instagram?
- Have you visited Honfleur?
- Do you prefer an intense holiday or chilled?
Let me know in the comments below . . .