France, Picardy, Normandy

 

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  France    Picardy    and    Normandy. 2011


In late July early August 2011, we have been for one week in Picardy. Then we went to Normandy. Also for one week.

 

Picardy.

Saint Valery sur Somme.

We were near St Valery sur Somme.
This town lies at the Somme Bay. Near the old city there is the beach that I've photographed from the road. Through the two towers you get into the highest part of town. From the beach you can walk on the quay to the port. 
There is much difference between high and low tide.
From this place William the Conqueror went to England in 1066. (See Bayeux Tapestry) In 1430 Jeanne d 'Arc captured by the English was brought to St Valery.
Saint Valery sur Somme.... Saint Valery sur Somme.. Saint Valery sur Somme.
 

The Herbarium des Remparts in St Valery sur Somme.

This garden is located in the upper part of the city. Volunteers take care of the garden. They look also after the plants along the street near the garden.
It is smaller than most other gardens, we have visited. But it is definitely worth to visit. Everything is kept with great care and love.
The Herbarium des Remparts in St Valery sur Somme.... The Herbarium des Remparts in St Valery sur Somme.
The Herbarium des Remparts in St Valery sur Somme.  The Herbarium des Remparts in St Valery sur Somme.  The Herbarium des Remparts in St Valery sur Somme.


Parc du Marquenterre.
 

In Parc du Marquenterre (250 ha) are dunes, sand and marshes. There are several trails. 
The area is known for the many birds like migratory birds.
There are many observation posts. There you can observe the birds without disturbing. 
Marquenterre... Marquenterre
Marquenterre  Marquenterre  Marquenterre, Marquenterre. Marquenterre. Marquenterre   
 

The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).

The gardens are managed separately from the Abbey. Of course you can see the Valloires Abbey.
It is a large symmetrical garden, consisting of lawns, yew and boxwood. In many
small square gardens near the abbey are rose gardens. 
The left side of the garden on the slope looks very different. You can enjoy walking on the grass with trees and shrubs. This part is divided into 21 "islands". For example a shadow island with plants and shrubs that love the shade.
We loved the place with the wild flowers. Something different.
On the right is a water garden.
There are no insecticides used in this garden.  

The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).... The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).
The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).... The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).
The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).  The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).  The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).. The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).. The Valloires gardens (near the abbey).
The abbey of Valloires.... The abbey of Valloires.
The abbey of Valloires.

The abbey is built in the 12th century. But in the 17th century there was not much left. In the 18th century, the abbey is reconstructed. The building is no longer used as a monastery.
In 1922 Papillon Theresea used it for a sanatorium. Today it is the property of the Association of Valloires. An association with various social activities. It includes the care of children in difficulty The association is responsible for building maintenance.
Part of the building is open to the public. Only with a guide.

  We had stayed too long in the garden. We have only seen the outside.

 

 

Normandy

Port en Bessin

In Normandy we were near Port en Bessin

Port en Bessin is a fishing village. The port is protected by a dike. Again, a big difference between high and low tide. At low tide the boats lie on dry land. There is a rocky beach, where people are looking for shells. At high tide the beach is covered by water.
The town is situated between two beaches where the Allies landed in 1944. Throughout this region you find many cemeteries and memorials.
From our camping it is one kilometer walk to the city. On top of a cliff near the road you have a beautiful view of the city.
Port en Bessin... Port en Bessin. Port en Bessin. Port en Bessin eb
Port en Bessin... Port en Bessin
Port en Bessin, memorial.  
On the same cliff there is a memorial.

Here the soldiers are commemorated, who
died during the liberation of Port en Bessin on June 6, 1944.
A nice place far from the crowds with stunning views.

 

Omaha beach.

A few kilometers from Port en Bessin.
A beautiful beach, which is narrow at high tide but at low tide very broad.
It is an ideal beach for sand yachting
The name
Omaha beach is the code name of one of the Normandy landings of the Allies.
Omaha beach.... Omaha beach.

 

Pointe du Hoc.

From Ohama beach we drove to Pointe du Hoc..
It is a cliff, located between Ohama
Beach and Utah Beach. On this cliff were the German bunkers and cannons to defend the beach.
The
holes are caused by the bombing. Now they are great for kids to climb in and out. But then it was no fun.
There is a memorial in the form of a needle.
The visit is free and is impress
ing.

Pointe du Hoc.
Pointe du Hoc.... Pointe du Hoc.

 

Bayeux

The Bayeux Tapestry.

When we drove back from Brittany a few years ago, we saw the signs to Bayeux with its famous tapestry. But we did not have time to visit. Now we were able to visit the town.
I haven't photograph the building. And it was forbi
dden to photograph inside. So I only have a picture of the book, we bought. (In the Dutch language)
Actually it is not a tapestry but an embroidered linen cloth from 70 meters (height 50 cm). It is probably constructed in England
in the 11th century. And it is probably commissioned by Bishop Odo. He is the half brother of William the Conqueror.
The images on the Bayeux Tapesty describe the history of William the Conqueror of England. Especially the Battle of Hastings, when he defeated king Harold II of England.
A beautiful tapestry considering how old it is. The colors are bright.
William
from Port Bessin to St Valery sur Somme before he left France to defeat Harold II. We did exactly the opposite. First St Valery sur Somme and then to Port Bessin.
The Bayeux Tapestry.
Cathedral of Bayeux (De Notre-Dame)... Kathedraal van Bayeux (De Notre-Dame)

Cathedral of Bayeux (De Notre-Dame) If you're in Bayeux, a visit to the Gothic cathedral is of course necessary

Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique 

Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique

A park where we drive along when we visit the center of Bayeux. It's about one hundred and fifty years old.
The main trees are planted between 1859 and 1864.
A famous tree is the weeping beech. The branches are supported to keep them from breaking.
But the other very tall trees are also worth a visit.
At the end of the walk we saw a garden and a greenhouse with some euphorbia, agaves, cactuses. 

Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique... Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique

Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique  Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique, treurbeuk  Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique, treurbeuk.. Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique. Jardin Public de Bayeux / Jardin botanique, kas

 

Jardins de Castillon

The first part consists of terraces with lots of yews clipped into shape. In the second part you will find ponds, a Japanese garden and beautiful flower beds.
The entrance is a simple building. Behind it lies a beautiful, well-kept garden, which surprises you at every step.
Clever is how tightly clipped shrubs matches the other shrubs and plants.
In 2009, this garden received the price of the Garden of the Year from Garden Journalists.

 

Jardins de Castillon
Jardins de Castillon... Jardins de Castillon
Jardins de Castillon... Jardins de Castillon
Jardins de Castillon  Jardins de Castillon  Jardins de Castillon.. Jardins de Castillon. Jardins de Castillon

 

Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.

An Italian garden from the 17th century.
Everything is very well cut. The building and the church from the 13th, 14th century form the backdrop. The castle is not open to visitors.
The ancient sculptures give a special atmosphere.
The plants along the walls are worth
a visit, but we've seen already so many gardens.
Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.
Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.... Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.
Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.  Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.  Jardins du Chateau de Brécy... Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.. Jardins du Chateau de Brécy.


Chateau de Fontaine-Henry

After our visit of Jardins du Chateau de Brécy we drove to the castle. A Renaissance castle with a Romanesque chapel.
Around the castle you'll find wooden games. (ring throwing, bowling, etc.) This will keep your kids sweet. A garden is unfortunately not.
The castle is still inhabited. But with a guide we
have visited a part of the castle
Chateau de Fontaine-Henry... Chateau de Fontaine-Henry

                           

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