Friday, 11 April 2014

Drink, Eat, Do: Normandy

Hey there Hop Heads! Did you miss me? Yeah right. LOL
We just spent a week in Northern France. Normandy to be precise. It was brilliant. And I wanted to share a little bit about it because we ate lots of good food and drank new beers and saw some amazing things. A week wasn't long enough and we would love to go back.
There is so much more I could write about this experience but I don't want to bore you. If you are curious about anything just tweet me @even_star

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Drink! Grimbergen Printemps
We started down in Folkstone after work and got the car train to Calais. We spent the night in the Ibis there where I had this very strange beer from Grimbergen. It's Spring or Printemps beer and it only comes out this time time of year. It really is pink! And it was a weird taste at first but it grew on me. Definitely try it once if you can.

The Ibis is Calais is standard mid-budget hotel. One piece of advice for UK travellers at least is that French hotels do not put a tea kettle in your room. If you are driving it's definitely handy to bring your own so you can have a coffee when you are setting off at the crack of dawn like we did

Eat! Like a Local!
The only way to go in France is self catering. The local food is fresh and inexpensive and there are soooo many things to try. You can see Bear there enjoying himself amongst our haul from the little CarreFour up the road.

Be advised: FRANCE CLOSES ON SUNDAY AND FOR THREE HOURS EVERY AFTERNOON.

Like seriously. CLOSED. You can't buy gas or milk or bread or tourist tat between 1 and 3 pm.

Make sure you stock up on Saturday because the only thing open on Sunday is the odd Boulangerie where you can get day old bread and milk. But that is it!

Do!  The Normandy Beaches
We stayed in Normandy and there are TONS of things to do there. But if you can only do one thing do the Beaches. No dumbass I don't mean put on your Bermuda shorts and go surfing. I mean drive up to Pegasus on the E46 to the D515 and then up to join the D514. Follow that road from Sword Beach in the east all the way to Omaha Beach in the west.

 Obviously being born a Canadian I was most interested in seeing Juno Beach. There is a wonderful centre there that it is worth stopping to see. This inukshuk was at one of the othere towns on the coast. So many villages were flying the Maple Leaf. I felt so proud.

And if you are American, Canadian, British, Australian, or French don't know why that is important then SHAME ON YOU. Neither Bear nor I were prepared for how moved we would be by this experience. It takes a full day to do, especially if you stop and some of the memorials and for lunch.


The scenery is breathtaking and so are all the stories you will see in the towns and villages and beaches along this coast. This is were a continent was freed from one of the greatest evils in history by the sacrifice of thousands.