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Posts tagged ‘Normandy’

D-Day 70 Years Later – The Omaha Beach Memorial

My first impression of Omaha Beach in Normandy was of summer fun.  Alongside the massive stretch of sand, there was a boardwalk dotted with summer beach rentals, ice cream stands and the occasional creperie.  The laughter of a visiting group of British school children added to the ambiance of carefree days.  But anyone who has studied the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944 knows that Omaha was the bloodiest of battlefields of D-Day with some units in the first wave suffering up to a 92% casualty rate.  How do we memorialize the 4,000 who died in a few hours?  Today a bold, modern memorial stands out along the relaxing beach and marks the critical military objective that the American soldiers sacrificed so dearly to achieve.

Omaha Beach Memorial

Omaha Beach Memorial

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The Bayeux Tapestry: Storytelling in Fabric

The monthly ArtSmart Roundtable brings together some of the best art-focused travel blogs to post on a common theme.  This month we are focusing on Art Experiences.  Check out all the inspiring and fantastic stories below!

Norman Horseman, Bayeux Tapestry

Norman horsemen riding into Battle from the Bayeux Tapestry

I’ve joked before about my “art pilgrimages” but I truly think some works need to be seen in person.  There are details that can not be conveyed in photographs, and sometimes the scope and effect of the piece can only be appreciated in front of the artwork.  I’ve experienced this sense of presence most intensely with the 12th century Bayeux Tapestry. Essentially a 230 foot long storyboard of exquisite embroidery, this object retells the the Battle of Hastings with drama, charm, and emotion.  Without even realizing it, I spent 4 hours with the Bayeux Tapestry and loved it!

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Inside Rouen Cathedral

A list of the greatest Gothic Cathedrals in the World is going to be dominated by the French greats: Notre Dame, Sainte-Chapelle, Chartres, Amiens, Riems and Rouen.  Since cathedrals, with their cavernous interior space and organic ribbing, are places to be explored and experienced, I always make time for a long visit!  Rouen Cathedral in Normandy is a spectacular example of the High Gothic (mostly) style and well worth gazing at and wandering through.

Main aisle of the Rouen Cathedral.

Main aisle of the Rouen Cathedral.

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Honfleur Vintage Carousel

Honfleur in Normandy has been a vacation destination for over a century hosting artists, families and those looking for a seaside respite.  While the town is inherently cute with its tall, plaster and beam medieval style houses, the community comes alive at the onset of Spring.  Outdoor cafes spring up and street vendors pour onto the wide docks.  But there is one feature that really signals the arrival of Spring – the antique carousel!  When I visited in March it had just re-opened and was taking the first visitors of the year on a colorful (albeit chilly) ride.

Honfleur's vintage carousel

A sign that Winter is over – Honfleur’s vintage carousel!

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Cheese Making at La Village Fromagerie

Last week I published an article on PlumDeluxe about the traditional food products of Normandy and local agritourism.  Visiting these cheese factories and apple orchards was one of the highlights of my trip to Northern France!  I wanted to give you a closer look at my amazing visit to “La Village Fromagerie” – the E. Graindorge cheese factory in Livarot, France.

Pont-l'Évêque cheese

Delicious Pont-l’Évêque from E. Graindorge Fromagerie

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