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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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May 16 2011 2 16 /05 /May /2011 08:22

259 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011After lunch, our AVF group went across the street to the stud farm known as Le Haras National de Saint-Lô.  Many of the buildings date between 1806 and 1884 although many of them were destroyed during the bombings of 1944.  261 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011Today, the buildings gave been rebuilt according to the original designs.  The red brick and stone buildings are laid out in an oval pattern with huge rose bushes planted between each window.  262 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011The centrepiece of the haras is the small château in the center of the property that opens up to the well-manicured courtyard and garden.  267 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011The Saint-Lô stud farm, the most important of the 23 national stud farms, specializes in breeds such as Norman cobs, trotters and French saddle-horses.  264 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011268 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011269 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011The eight stables surrounding the main courtyard, house over 100 stallions of seven different breeds: thoroughbreds, Anglo-Arabs, French trotters, French saddle-horses, French and Norman cobs, Pecherons, New-Forest and Connemara ponies.  271 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011Our tour guide was very kind and knowledgeable.  She took us through the most important places on the property 283 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011including the clinic where artificial insemination is done, 276 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011279 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011the dressage quarters, exercise buildings and introduced us to several horses in their stalls.  287 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011This one is named Othello de Cauville.  290 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011The white one is Ideal du Perche.  The ancestry of each horse is well documented so that horse owners from all over the world can choose which horses they would like to breed with their mares.  275 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011272 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011Although I am not keen on horses, I was very pleased with our tour of the property.  295 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011Inside the main building, is a museum devoted to horse-drawn carriages and the history of the stud farming in France.  Here's a picture of me wearing a funny cap.  It was part of a military uniform that belonged to a worker at the farm many years ago.296 Les Haras nationaux à St-Lô, 14 mai 2011 

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July 26 2010 2 26 /07 /July /2010 09:27

105 l'église Saint-Ursin

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July 10 2010 7 10 /07 /July /2010 10:08

160 La forêt de Saint SeverOur friends at Normandy Inn gave us some good advice when it came to exploring the area around Montbray and Vire during our visit last week.  If you seek a pleasant hiking opportunity, look no further than la forêt de Saint-Sever.  The national forest covers an area of 1,555 hectares and stretches across the southern territory of the commune of Saint-Sever-Calvados and is managed by l’office national des forêts (ONF).  141 La forêt de Saint SeverNearly half of the forest was destroyed during the huge European windstorms of Lothar and Martin in December 1999.  The 200 km per hour winds felled many of the old conifers.  A replanting effort was undertaken and much of the forest was restored with deciduous oak, beech, chestnut, Douglas fir and silver fir trees.  159 La forêt de Saint SeverUndergrowth flora consists of wild blueberries, foxglove and bracken fern.  142 La forêt de Saint Sever143 La forêt de Saint Sever144 La forêt de Saint Sever147 La forêt de Saint Sever148 La forêt de Saint SeverAlong the marked paths are small signs describing local flora.  I found this to be a lot of fun as I looked out for each species on our hike.  The forest is also a home to deer, wild boars, foxes and badgers.  There are numerous hiking trails for walkers some of which lead to le lac du Gast in the southern boundary of the forest.  149 La forêt de Saint Sever, Lac du Gast150 La forêt de Saint Sever, Lac du Gast152 La forêt de Saint Sever, Lac du GastIt is a heaven for birdwatchers as it serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds, mallard ducks, Pochards, teal ducks, moor hens, herons, reed buntings, snipes and coots.  156 La forêt de Saint Sever, Lac du GastAt the edge of the lake we found hundreds of small frogs.  Just look at how small they are compared to my fingers !  162 Chapelle de l'hermitage, La forêt de Saint Sever163 Chapelle de l'hermitage, La forêt de Saint SeverThere is a small picnic area near la chapelle de l'Ermitage.  In the 1214, hermits made a clearing in the forest and built a small monastery.  Monks following the Rule of Camaldoleses lived there until the French Revolution.  164 Chapelle de l'hermitage, La forêt de Saint Sever166 Chapelle de l'hermitage, La forêt de Saint Sever168 Chapelle de l'hermitage, La forêt de Saint SeverIn 1984 a group of Carmelite nuns from Avranches founded a community devoted to St-Joseph and the monastery reopened.  The public are welcome to attend daily offices and to experience the contemplative life.

138 Chapelle de l'hermitage, La forêt de Saint Sever 

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May 22 2010 7 22 /05 /May /2010 12:24

044 La Cambe NormandieDuring the Allied invasion of Normandy, the United States Army Graves Registration Service established two large cemeteries with fallen American and German soldiers near the village La Cambe, about eight kilometers east of Isigny-sur-Mer.  After 1945, the United States relocated its dead to the newly laid out graveyard of Colleville-sur-Mer, and moved the fallen German soldiers from there to La Cambe.  Thus there arose from the two cemeteries formerly occupied by Americans and Germans the separate cemeteries we know today.  See my earlier post about Colleville-sur-Mer HERE. 

045 La Cambe NormandieThe fallen German soldiers lay at the end of the war in the departments of La Manche, l’Orne and Le Calvados in some 1,400 townships.  In 1956, the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfäsorge (German War Graves Commission) began bringing together the dead in six graveyards in Normandy.  The others are :

 

Champigny-St-André : 19,809 dead

St-Désir-de-Lisieux : 3,735 dead

Marigny : 11,169 dead

Orglandes : 10,152 dead

Mont-de-Huisnes : 11,956 dead

 

046 La Cambe NormandieAt the time, La Cambe was already the largest German cemetery with over 8,000 dead.  Today, 21,222 fallen German soldiers are laid to rest here making La Cambe the largest of the German cemeteries.

050 La Cambe NormandieThe extension and lying out of the grounds made necessary a renewal of the surrounding bank.  An international youth camp of young people from many nations accomplished this work in 1958.  047 La Cambe NormandieThe volunteers also worked on building up the almost six meter high tumulus, which has taken in 207 unknown dead and 89 who are known by name yet placed in a “Kameradengrab” (mass grave).  On its peak stands a mighty basalt lava cross with two side figures.

048 La Cambe NormandieThe cemetery was inaugurated on the 21st September 1961.  The site is dotted with trees and Maltese crosses arranged in groups of five.  The German dead are buried two or more underneath small cross-shaped slabs (nearly flush with the short grass).

051 La Cambe Normandie

049 La Cambe Normandie

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March 11 2010 5 11 /03 /March /2010 08:32

Dominique DEME 7 rue des Embruns

The barest hint of rainbow-colored light illuminated her features. 
(First post)

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January 12 2010 3 12 /01 /January /2010 11:45

078StGervaisFalaise
I wish I had taken notes when I was in Falaise.  I visited the famous church of Staint Gervais which is known for its two different architectural styles:  the south side is Romanesque and the north side is Gothic.  It was built between the 11th century and the 16th century.  I captured this photo of light along an unknown tomb from the stained glass windows.

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November 21 2009 7 21 /11 /November /2009 22:04
This town, in the Calvados department of Normandy, lies along the coast designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings.  It was used by the British troops during the Allied invasion.  Mainly a tourist town, it is known for its temporary harbor, called a “Mulberry”. 
This harbor eventually came to be known as Port Winston at Arromanches and saw heavy use for 8 months—despite being designed to last only three months.  In the 10 months after D-Day, it was used to land over 2.5 million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 million tons of supplies providing much needed reinforcements in France.


The reinforced concrete caissons called “Phoenix” (seen in the distance) were brought to the Normandy coast and sunk by allowing the seawater to enter.  Attached to them were floating bridges called “Whales” made from torsionally flexible bridging units that had a span of 80 ft., mounted on pontoon units of either steel or concrete called “Beetles”.  After the war many of the "Whale" bridge spans from Arromanches were used to repair bombed bridges in France, Belgium and Holland.
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