Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This morning, after breakfast at the hotel, we rode the bus to Mont Saint Michel, the sometimes island, sometimes peninsula in Normandy. There we visited the abbey with our guide, who provided us with a lot of interesting information about the history of the abbey and the village. After the guided tour, we were on our own in Mont Saint Michel for lunch and to shop. In the late afternoon, we got on the bus and drove back to the hotel for more free time in Saint Malo. A lot of people enjoyed visiting the beaches to climb the rocks or going shopping. Then we met in front of our hotel with the guide to have a tour of the remparts of Saint Malo and learned about the pirate history. After we ate dinner at a creperie with delicious dinner and dessert crepes.
Today, the group left Honfleur and went to see the tapestry of Bayeux. We all went to the museum, and examined and learned about the story of William the Conqueror,a French Duke, and King Harold, the King of England. It was quite interesting to see such an extensive display of French and English history, all exquisitely embroidered. After that, we contitnued on to Arromarches, a charming sea-side town, for lunch. Many of us enjoyed an authentic crepe at the various creperies around the city. Then, we were on our way to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. On the way there we stopped by to check out the German bunkers. The cemetery was quite beautiful and serene. There were thousands of white crosses and stars, line after line coming out of the cut green lawn. After visiting the graves, we proceeded on to the d-day landing beaches. All along the trip our wonderful guide, Audrey, speaks about the history of places and people. She is an enormous help and makes the trip more interesting. Now we are on our way to eat dinner in St. Malo, where we will be staying for two days. We’re all having a lot of fun and taking a lot of pictures !
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Today was our first official day touring the north of France. We left Paris for a short trip to Rouen. There, we got to see the church built by where Joan of Arc was burned as well as learn some of the the history of the 100 Years War from our tour guide Audrey. She is bilingual in French and English, but insists on speaking almost entirely in French in order to help us prepare for our family stay. We all broke off to eat lunch (Stephanie, Lauren, Maria, and I went to « Le Sud »). Then, we met back up and went to see the « Half-Timber » buildings that were all over the old part of the city. They were really unique looking and definitely not something we have too often in America! We also got to see several massive catherdrals that had gorgeous Gothic architecture, stained glass windows, and intricate carvings. After that, we left to go to Honfleur, where we are staying the night tonight, but during the day we shopped and explored the gorgeous harbor there. We all met and had dinner together at « Le Chat Qui Peche » for a great fish dinner and some cute waiters. All in all, today was a great day and everyone is looking forward to tomorrow, too! We miss you, Moms and Dads and Families !
~ Caitlin Horwatt
We’re finally in France! After an entire day of traveling we were all pretty exausted, but we couldn’t help but be excited about finally reaching our destination. Our first flight was on a small plane and it was very short. We had a few hours layover in Detroit and Caitlin and I ate at Burger King. The second flight was much larger and they served us dinner. It was actually very good for plane food. We all tried to get some sleep but most of us couldn’t while sitting in an uncomfortable plane seat, but we did our best. It was very long and I felt really tired afterwards. Our flight arrived to Amsterdam sooner than scheduled so we had some extra time to shop around the airport. I bought my first item with Euros- a bottle of water. I personally felt like this was quite an accomplishment. Our next flight was only about 45 minutes long and I slept the entire way. I was so excited when I finally took my first steps into France. After we got our luggage (Which all made it to France) we met our tour guide and drove around the city for a while. In just one hour we saw the EiffelTower, the Arc De Triumph, and the Champs-Elysees.