I’ve accompanied Brian on his work trips to Paris several times, often exploring new places downtown and taking day-trips to nearby cities and countries.
During our recent trip, he needed to stay a second week for customer meetings so we spent the weekend in between exploring the Normandy region of France.
Normandy is a region of northern France. Its varied coastline includes white-chalk cliffs and WWII beachheads, including Omaha Beach, site of the famous D-Day landing. Just off the coast, the rocky island of Mont-Saint-Michel is topped by a soaring Gothic abbey. The city of Rouen, dominated by Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen, is where military leader and Catholic saint Joan of Arc was executed in 1431.Google Maps
This was our first time traveling around this region, and we managed to hit the Google highlights this go around! I detailed those adventures in these posts:
- Normandy’s Historical WWII Sites
- An Afternoon at Mont Saint-Michel
- Walking Around Rouen, the City of Joan of Arc
Another highlight of our time in this region was partaking of the local cuisine. Our first night in Caen we popped in a great restaurant next to our hotel where we enjoyed local delicacies such as escargot, fois gras, and raw oysters. YUM!
While France is known for its wine and champagne, the Normandy region is not a hot spot for either of those. Instead, it’s known for its apple orchards and resulting products, such as hard cidre, calvados (distilled cider) and pommeau (apple brandy).
During our drive through the Normandy countryside we popped into one tasting room to try calvados and pommeau for the first time. They were interesting but not our favorite beverages. Instead, we purchased some cider, crackers and pate, which we enjoyed for a lunchtime picnic. C’est la vie!
There was a great deal more to Normandy, and I really enjoyed our drive through the countryside as we made our way to our various destinations.
I’d love to have more time to further explore this region and its neighboring region, Brittany, on our next trip!