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  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.
  • De captivants à banals, les articles et photographies de “The Baguette” sont une tentative de publier un journal de ma vie dans la Manche et de proposer un forum de discussion pour tout ce qui touche à la Normandie.

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February 7 2011 2 07 /02 /February /2011 14:38

My brother and I arrived by train at the Gare de Cherbourg in the evening.  After breakfast the next day, I thought we would be able to see many sights but I underestimated the amount of time it would take driving from place to place.  Still, I think he got a nice look at my neck of the woods.  On the first day in Querqueville, I drove him around many places in La Hague.  077 Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and Chapel of St-GI was glad that he got to see where I go to church on Sundays: Notre-Dame de l’Assomption (18th century) and beside it, the Chapelle St-Germain (10th century), the oldest religious building of the Cotentin area and perhaps of Western France.  They stand at the top of the hill overlooking the village.  083 War Memorial, QuerquevilleHere you can see a picture of us in front of the Querqueville War Memorial.  We jumped back in the car and headed past Urville-Nacqueville to the lookout from Landemer.  084 Landemer Coast, La HagueAll along our beach are remains of the German Atlantic Wall.  In some areas, old concrete batteries have fallen into the sea.  After Landemer, the road rises in the Habilland Ravine and soon a beautiful perspective opens up from the Cap Lévi lighthouse to the Pointe Jardeheu.  086 Landemer Coast, La HagueSadly, visibility was poor and we were only able to grab some photos of the cliffs and footpaths among the bracken.  These coastal cliffs have marked paths for anyone wishing to hike around the peninsula.  We ventured onward toward Gréville-Hague.  088 Gréville-Hague Church088a Gréville-Hague ChurchHere, the small squat church served as a model for the painter Jean-François Millet in his works of Norman landscapes.  087 Jean-François Millet (painter), Gréville-HagueThe artist’s statue can bee seen at the crossroads of the town and the house where he was born in Gruchy is open to the public in the summer.  Taking the chance that the Manoir du Tourp might be open this time of year, we parked the car and walked to the gate.  Sadly, it too was closed.  089 Le manoir du Tourp, La HagueThe Manoir du Tourp, an 16th century manor house and farm typical of those in La Hague, serves as a focal point for tourists wishing to explore the rich cultural heritage of this region.  090 Le manoir du Tourp, La HagueIt has spaces for temporary exhibitions, a restaurant, library and media center.  The road rising toward St-Germain-des-Vaux affords views of the tiny hamlet of Port-Racine, thought to be one of France’s smallest ports, 094 Port Racine, Saint-Germain-des-Vauxnamed after Captain Racine, who set up his naval base there under Napoleon I.  Further on, past the small village of Auderville, the view to the Goury lighthouse opens up in the distance.  100 Goury LighthouseIt sits at “World’s End” along the Raz Blanchard, which takes its name from the whiteness of the waves and strong currents caused by shoals between the Cap de la Hague and Alderney.  These currents can reach speeds of 10 knots and make navigation very difficult.  098 Goury Lighthouse and Le Vendémiaire MemorialIn 1823 alone, 27 ships were sunk in the vicinity.  The small harbor is a refuge for boats caught in a storm.  There is even an octagonal rescue station that houses the lifeboat “Mona Rigolet”, which swivels around a 103 Rescue Staion Boat, Gouryrevolving turntable that enables it to be launched from two slipways—either towards the port at high tide or towards the open sea at low tide.  102 Rescue Station, GouryThe lighthouse was built between 1834 and 1837 of granite and is 48 meters high with a lantern with a range of 25 km.  Along the western coast 107 Baie d'Écalgrain109 Baie d'Écalgrain111 Fields above Baie d'Écalgrainof La Hague lies the Baie d’Écalgrain, a desolate beach of smooth stones backed by heath land.  It is one of the area’s wild but imposing beauty spots.  Further south lies the Nez de Jobourg.  The long, rocky and barren promontory, surrounded by reefs, is the most impressive cape of the wild La Hague coast.  114 Le Nez de Jobourg, La Hague118 Le Nez de Jobourg, La Hague Nuclear Reprocessing Facili122 Fields above Le Nez de Jobourg, La HagueAll around are spectacular views of farmland and hedgerows.  If you look closely, you can see AREVA, the nuclear reprocessing center which provides many jobs to people in this area.  On clear days, one can see as far as the Channel Islands, Alderney being the nearest, Sark, Guernsey and Jersey.  A moment of luck came our way when a patch of sunlight peeked out from some clouds in the distance lighting up the sea.  123a Biville Church, BivilleOur last stop before heading into Cherbourg for lunch was the small town of Biville.  The village is set on a plateau overlooking the desolate shoreline of Vauville Bay.  Locals make pilgrimages to the church, where the glass coffin of the Blessed Thomas Hélye (1187 – 1257), a native of Biville, who was a priest and missionary in the diocese of Coutances, is enclosed in a marble sarcophagus in the 13th century chancel, adorned with small 15th century low-relief sculptures.  124 Reliquary of Blessed Father Thomas Hélye, Biville ChurOn the left of this photo stands the carved marble slab, which covered the original tomb.  123b Window to the Allies, Biville Church, BivilleThe arrival of the Allies and the liberation of the region are commemorated in a stained glass window by artist Louis Barillet (1944).  By now we were very hungry and headed into Cherbourg for lunch.  130a Le Point du Jour Restaurant in Cherbourg129 Dry Dock, CherbourgWe had a pleasant meal at La Pointe du Jour just in front of the Caligny dry-docks.  I forced my brother to have his photo taken in front of the actual façade used in “Les Parapluies de Cherbourg” a famous French film by Jacques Demy, which helped make the town famous for its umbrellas.  130 Famous facade to Les parapluies de Cherbourg (UmbrellasI would like my mother to loan my brother and his wife a copy of the film so that when my brother visits again, he will have a better appreciation.  Another landmark in Cherbourg is the bronze statue of the emperor Napoleon I by Armand Le Veel.  134 Napoleon Boneparte Statue, CherbourgNapoleon’s right hand points toward England (the enemy).  Across the street is the Basilica of the Holy Trinity, a Flamboyant Gothic church built between the 15th century and early 19th century.  132 Basilica of the Holy Trinity, Cherbourg133 High altar, Basilica of the Holy Trinity, CherbourgThe high altar features Christ’s baptism by John and the descent of the Holy Spirit.  136 Le Cap Lévi near Cherbourg140 Cap Lévi Lighthouse near CherbourgThe rest of the day was spent driving along the Val de Saire toward the Cap Levi lighthouse that was built in 1947 and stands 36 meters tall.  Father on is a more interesting lighthouse built between 1828 and 1835 in the small village of Gatteville.  146 Gatteville Lighthouse and sémaphore, Gatteville-le-PhaIt is the second largest lighthouse in Europe standing 74.85 meters tall with a staircase of 365 steps lit by 52 windows.  Behind the lighthouse is the old sémaphore.  156 Vauban Tower near Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue156b Vauban Tower near Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue151 German Battery, Saint-Vaast-la-Hougue155 Vauban Tower near Saint-Vaast-la-HougueThe last part of the day we drove past Barfleur to Saint-Vaast-la-Houge and stopped to take pictures of the Vauban tower (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and fort which retains some of the German blockhouses built during World War II.  158 Camembert Cheese after dinner159 Galette des Rois and Apple Cider for dessert160 Galette des Rois and Apple Cider for dessertI had a treat in store for my brother at dinnertime.  I made cassoulet and we ate a traditional Galette de Rois of frangipane along with a healthy glass of Normandy cider for dessert.  162 Galette des Rois and Apple Cider for dessert (Steve got161 Galette des Rois and Apple Cider for dessert (Steve isMy brother found the fève and was crowned King for the rest of the evening.  The next day I was hoping we could go to Mont-St-Michel but the weather was biting cold and we were still exhausted from our travels the day before.  I think we made the right decison to stay indoors and do nothing but watch television and get caught up with one another.  For dinner that night I made Magret de Canard (duck steaks) and potatoes.  For dessert we had the leftover Galette des Rois.166 Duck steaks and potatoes for dinner163 Duck steaks for dinner

167 Duck steaks and potatoes for dinner

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