Hi, every body,
It’s Sophie who speaks to you.
I’m French and this week, I choose to speak to International students in English. Some of you have just arrived in France. I know, you’re a bit lost, and may be you are homesick! I have already experienced that sad and disagreeable feeling. I spent one year in Ireland. Don’t worry; you’ll be better in a few weeks. So why not begin your stay in France, by discovering Normandy?
It’s where I come from. I’m sure you’ve already heard about Mont Saint Michel, haven’t you? For those who don’t know this place, Mont Saint Michel is one of the symbols of Normandy and it’s one of the most famous places in the world!!! It’s situated at four hours from Paris by train, I know, it’s a bit long, but this is an opportunity to discover the diversity of landscapes through the country. Once you get there, you have to be a sport adept to find it funny to climb to the top. You will be rewarded by a wonderful view of the area around and above all, the beautiful gothic cathedral.
You can also find number of shops and restaurants, but be careful prices could be excessive.
Mont Saint Michel is designed from 708 AC as a fortified middle-aged town with narrow, circular and climbing streets that guide you to the cathedral. I’m sure you will enjoy this trip through ages.
To access to the monument, there is no road. A few years ago, the region of Mont Saint Michel decided to cut the road and put Le Mont Saint Michel back to an island as it was originally. You have a choice either taking the shuttle or walking and taking your time to admire the beautiful landscape.
On the same coast, on the north of Mont Saint-Michel, you can visit also Granville.
There, you can walk through the streets of Vieux-Granville, past the port with also narrow streets. From there, you can go by boat to British islands of Jersey and Guernesey). Make sure your passport is up to date because you enter UK territories.
In Granville, you can find an amazing wealth of Normandy, the Christian Dior’s house, where he spent his childhood. Now his house is a museum where you can find some of his collections.
Granville is also named Northern Monaco because it’s situated on a rock and it’s knowing by its casino. The regulation in France, wants that you can’t enter in a casino if you’re under 18.
Next to the casino, I recommend you a very good Irish shop “Le comptoire Irlandais”. There, you can buy typical products made in Ireland (Clothes and food).
Now, why not leave Granville and go to the northern coast of Normandy: “The landing beaches”? There, you are in landmarks of recent history: The landing of the allied forces which marked a turning point of the Second World War.
Among the first freed town: Bayeux with a gothic cathedral built in the 15th century.
There is also a museum: “Tapisserie de Bayeux” one more step to learn more about the History of Normandy.
Next to the museum, you can visit the British cemetery where British soldiers during Second World War are buried. A very sad part of our history.
On the same area of Bayeux, on the coast, at 20 minutes from there, you can visit the American war memorial at Coleville-sur-mer. This cemetery is directed by the American administration.
There are lots of amazing places you can visit on the area, as Aromanche with its 360° cinema and another museum about D-DAY beaches.
I will not conclude without inviting you to visit Caen, the second largest city of Normandy after Rouen The city of Joan of Arch.
I recommend you a very good other museum there: The Memorial of Caen.
Lots of exhibitions about Second World War and the Cold War are organised all the year round.
Wishing you a very good stay in Normandy, don’t forget: Sight-seeing is the only good way to discover the culture of a country!!!