Our second two weeks of our Spring 2015 cycling trip were spent in France. Having lived in Paris in the 1950`s for three years and spending summer vacations in Criel-sur-Mer, I was eager to return. Our first few days in France we followed the Normandy coast from Le Cherbourg, past many of the WWII sites including Point du Hoc, Omaha Beach and Utah Beach.The cliffs at Point du Hoc were etched in my memory from my childhood visit with my dad, a Navy submariner. His tour of duty in Paris allowed us many travels to historic and cultural sites all over Europe.
Finally arriving in Criel-sur-Mer, I could not find the home in which I spent my summer vacations. As Thomas Wolfe said, “You can’t go home…”
We continued from Criel towards Paris by connecting with the “Avenue Verte”, a 406 kilometre cycle trail that will take travelers from London to Paris using old, no longer in use railroad lines. For our first overnight on the Avenue Verte, we stayed in Arques la Bataille at Maison Arquelles – looked and felt like a castle to me.