A'voir la France - Photoshots - the web folio of Tony Stewart.

A’voir la France

Homeward bound now….

Some observations of the last fortnight in France;
– The depth of European history just makes our 160 odd years of European settlement in NZ seem like nothing. It is just such a mind warp standing in a street with half timbered buildings knowing knights once rode through, or a castle that Richard the Lionheart built, or ….
– What is it about French and their dogs? They take them everywhere, big and small. Like, everywhere! Turned around in a restaurant the other night and a doting owner was holding dear Fido as he waited for a table. Unfortunately for us, the dog’s legs were splayed wide apart, his ‘bits’ in plain view, only centimetres away at eye level!
– What is it about French and smoking? They all do it! Don’t they know it’s not good for you?!
– I’m not sure about the French and their stereotype. Our contact with locals everywhere has been nothing less than positive. Even with some language challenges, people have always been very welcoming. Maybe it’s because it’s prior to the summer tourist mass. I can fully understand how that would put you off to some degree!
– The Louvre. It could be such a time vacuum. With so much beautiful work, I dont think it is possible to get your head round it in one go. It just makes you want to know more, the stories, the history, the techniques… Just so many very talented artists over millennia. All for 10E (~$NZD20).
– The scale of D Day. The planning and how they kept it a secret is beyond me.
– Where would you be without in-car GPS? What a lifesaver. We travelled Europe in the olden days with a map book, and survived. But this time the stress levels were near zero.
– the cafes, our home away from home. There is just something that fresh baguette, artisan baking and kerbside dining just seems so very French. Yet I think when it comes to good coffee we take the cake in NZ. Canned whipped cream doesn’t make a cappucino!

Local walking their dog, St Malo, Brittany.

Local walking their dog, St Malo, Brittany.

Timbered beams, Chateau Normandy. While the Chateau dates to 1751, the beams were originally part of a ship.

Timbered beams, Chateau Normandy. While the Chateau dates to 1751, the beams were originally part of a ship.

Hangar a Dirigeables, WW1 era balloon, D'Ecausseville, Normandy.

Hangar a Dirigeables, WW1 era balloon, D'Ecausseville, Normandy.

Rouen Cathedral, Normandy.

Rouen Cathedral, Normandy.

Breakfast in Rouen.

Breakfast in Rouen.

Tourist crowds, 8th Century Mont Saint Michel, Normandy.

Tourist crowds, 8th Century Mont Saint Michel, Normandy.

8th Century Mont Saint Michel, Normandy.

8th Century Mont Saint Michel, Normandy.

Timbered houses, Rouen.

Timbered houses, Rouen.

Omaha Beach. Not hard to imagine what it was like almost exactly 67yrs ago.

Omaha Beach. Not hard to imagine what it was like almost exactly 67yrs ago.

US cemetery, Omaha Beach, D Day landing area, Normandy.

US cemetery, Omaha Beach, D Day landing area, Normandy.

US memorial to D Day fallen, Omaha Beach, Normandy.

US memorial to D Day fallen, Omaha Beach, Normandy.

St Mare Eglise, Normandy. Airborne invasion of Europe in WWII and subsequent liberation of Paris marked by roadside bollard.

St Mare Eglise, Normandy. Airborne invasion of Europe in WWII and subsequent liberation of Paris marked by roadside bollard.

German V2 launch site WWII, rural farm, Nomandy.

German V2 launch site WWII, rural farm, Nomandy.