We Cross the English Channel to Cherbourg, Normandy

Posted: October 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Early morning, and we are on the ferry now, crossing the calm English Channel from Poole, England, to Cherbourg, Normandy, France, a four-hour trip on a very modern ship. As the sun breaks out of clouds, we pass by the yachts and condos and sailboats of Poole harbor. I think how different Dad’s departure must have been, in so many ways. What was in his mind as he left Britain, headed for a dangerous and uncertain future?

My thoughts are quite the opposite. I am looking forward to exploring new places, revisiting a few old favorites, and enjoying croissants with butter and jam for breakfast. So is this what all those good men gave their lives for, so that we spoiled brats of the next generation could have a good time?

Later: We disembark in Cherbourg, after a very quiet and comfortable journey across the Channel. The Hertz rental car office is not far from the ferry drop-off point, but we have an hour to wait until it reopens at 3pm. So we haul ourselves and our bags into a small bistro a few doors down from the car place and order coffees. The owner is friendly and seems to know some English, so I show him two photos Dad took of Cherbourg: the fortress and a main street from July 25, 1944 (“the day of the 3,000 plane raid for the St. Lo breakthrough.”) .He immediately recognizes the street–Boulevard Robert Schuman–and pointed the way.

img200 cherbourg, France, taken on day of the 3000 plane raid for the St      France etc. 2013 075

And the fortress high above town can’t be missed.

img198 Fortress overlooking Cherbourg, France     20131019-162253.jpg

We find and photograph–in the sudden downpour that materialized just as we took the camera out–both sights and head for our B&B in Gefosse-Fontenay, about an hour east off the road to Caen, past Utah Beach. This will be our base for the next two days. When we arrive at this wonderful 15th century farm, the sun is shining.


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