An American in Normandy

Normandy was my first trip in Europe away from Paris. I went on a guided trip with EIAP-Sorbonne Nouvelle. This is a trip that is mainly for Erasmus students. (Erasmus is a EU student exchange program). The trip is also open for au pairs. I ended up being the only American on the trip. It was mainly Italian and Spanish students. Also, there a was a guy from Greece and another from Germany.

On this trip everyone spoke French to each other. My French is not great, yet. So, most of them could speak English to me. This just made me realize the difference in language skills of Europeans and Americans. We rely on English so much and do not stress the importance of learning a second language. I have spoken to people who have been studying languages for years. Many schools in America do not do that, but they should start. Anyways…

Normandy was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. Even the bus ride was amazing. As soon as I saw the picturesque countryside, I had to add another thing to my bucket list. A road trip through France.

The first city visited was Honfleur. It is a very beautiful city with img_5896-2quaint streets and a marina. There was an open market and cafes right near the water. We ate lunch here and I got the recommended meal: Moules à la crème (Mussels with Cream) Which is a specialty in Normandy. If you like seafood and go to Normandy, get the Mussels. It was delicious. Make sure you order the correct thing. At first when everyone’s appetizers came out, I thought I had ordered incorrectly. We had all ordered the same entrée and I was looking around at plates of escargot and hoping that I was not getting that same plate. I didn’t! Thank you random French word that I somehow knew. Seriously, Moules? Why can’t all the normal words stay in my head?

 

img_5594-1After Lunch we headed to Deauville. There is a beach here with beautiful views of the hills. There are a lot of
shells on the beach. It reminded me of my recent trip to Florida. FYI, I tried to bring one of the shells back as a souvenir…FAIL. It broke into tiny pieces in my purse. So, I guess look for a thick shell if you do that. We also had some amazing crêpes at this place called Tutti Frutti. They have so many choices that you cannot go wrong.

After spending the evening there, we headed to Caen. This is where we stayed for the night. Before going out we took a walk to Caen Castle. It was founded by William the Conqueror in 1060. We walked to the top and had some great views of the city. The battery in my phone and Camera died at this point. Sorry, I have no pictures of any of this.

soro5276The next day we visited Mont St. Michel. There isn’t much to say about this. The magnitude of Mont St. Michel is still crazy to me. It reminded me of kings landing on Game of Thrones. It was actually the inspiration for the castle in Tangled, which got me excited. Does the fact that those are two of my favorite things to watch say something about me? I guess I really like castles. Or, I have very eclectic taste in cinema and television. Moving on now. I was not expecting a little village within MSM. It is something that you need to see if you have the time. Truly amazing.

My weekend in Normandy was wonderful. I got to meet a lot of people and see a few cities in France. I wish I could have had more time in each of them, though. I truly loved Normandy.

 

 

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