Le Cherbourg, France -Country #2

Arriving in the harbor at Le Cherbourg
Arriving in the harbor at Le Cherbourg

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.

Point du Hoc - Normandy WWII  Memorial
Point du Hoc – Normandy WWII Memorial
Concrete Bunkers at Point du Hoc
Concrete Bunkers at Point du Hoc
Memorial to the Servicemen at Point du Hoc
Memorial to the Servicemen at Point du Hoc

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…”

Criel Sur Mer - la plage, the beach
Criel Sur Mer – la plage,
the beach

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.

Maison Arqauelles - wonderful hotel at the beginning of the Avenue Verte
Maison Arqauelles – wonderful hotel at the beginning of the Avenue Verte
Crazily decorated house along the Avenue Verte
Crazily decorated house along the Avenue Verte