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. I 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. Here 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. All 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. Sadly, 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. Here, the small squat church served as a model for the painter Jean-François Millet in his works of Norman landscapes. The 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. The 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. It 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, named 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. It 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. In 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 revolving 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. The 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 of 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. All 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. Our 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. On the left of this photo stands the carved marble slab, which covered the original tomb. The 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. We 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. I 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. Napoleon’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. The high altar features Christ’s baptism by John and the descent of the Holy Spirit. The 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. It 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. The 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. I 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. My 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.