March 26, 2017

European Travelista’s 7 Super Shots!

I have been enjoying reading everyone’s entries to HostelBookers 7 Super Shots!  As I don’t consider myself a good photographer I was secretly glad that I hadn’t been asked to participate.

Then it happened. . .

Both Sabrina from Country Skipper and Courtney of Haunt Jaunts asked me to participate.  Feeling good to be included, I now had to find some photographs that were worthy of the project.

I started by thinking what photos represent.  Photos keep our memories fresh and alive. All it takes is a glimpse and we are whisked back to that very day experiencing that trip, event or the fun as if we were there now.  The photos we take are snapshots of our life.

After getting over my initial angst, I wandered through my memories and found some photographs that represent each of the categories.

Here is a photo . . .

. . . that takes my breath away

It is no secret that I love mountains, lakes and small villages.  While I find them all remarkable in their own way, Gruyeres Switzerland just took my breath away.Bucolic Gruyeres Switzerland

. . . that makes me laugh or smile

I actually had a little trouble with this one but then it dawned on me that the one that made me smile every time was this shot taken on my very first trip to Europe.  In fact, this one is a lot of “firsts”.  My first time to Europe, Germany, Bavaria, Munich.  I smile each time I see this much younger me sitting by a lake in the Englischer Garten and, yes, I’m enjoying my first beer in Munich.

Englischer Garten Munich Germany

Enjoying a beer in Englisher Garten's Munich

. . . that makes me dream

This shot of the French Basque countryside makes me dream about all of the less traveled, peaceful places I have been and will go to.

Basque vista Southwest France

Basque Hills

. . . that makes me think

Looking down on the way up the Jungfraujoch is a tremendous sight!  This lovely village nestled at the foot of the mountain makes me think about how amazing Mother Nature is. . . The beauty of Switzerland isn’t too shabby either 🙂On the way up Jungfraujoch Interlaken Switzerland

. . . that makes my mouth water

As I look at this picture my mouth is literally watering.  I can still feel the relief as I sat down at this table at Klosterbrau Brewery in Bamberg Germany.  I can also remember how ravenous I was and how wonderful this schnitzel, potato salad, green salad and beer tasted!Schnitzel at Klosterbrau Bamberg Germany

. . . that tells a story

Visiting the D-day beaches in Normandy is a must see. This photo, taken at the American cemetery, tells the story of all the Americans that died during WWII.  More than that, it tells the story of all the lives lost from all countries involved.American Cemetery Normandy France

. . . that I’m most proud of

Gothic Royaumont Abbey gets the distinction of being my National Geographic moment!  The lovely Abbey and its grounds are a serene respite to busy Paris.Gothic Royaumount Abbey near Paris France

 

Now its my turn to nominate 5 bloggers to participate:

Eurotravelogue

EasyHiker

To Europe with Kids

This is My Happiness

Downtown Traveler

 

Rules

  1. Choose a photo for each of the 7 categories above.
  2. Write a short description for each image.
  3. Write somewhere in your blog post: I am taking part in HostelBookers 7 Super Shots.
  4. Tell HostelBookers that you have participated and tweet the hashtag #7SuperShots

Nominate 5 other bloggers by including a link to their blog in your post.

Honoring D-Day

Earlier this week was the 67th anniversary of D-Day, so here are some pictures of  Normandy in honor of all the men and women  who so bravely fought for our freedom!

Today, the beautiful idyllic beaches belie the horror that was experienced here many years ago.Normandy Beach France

What amazed me was the amount of German Artillery and other military armaments that are still in the area.German Artillery found in Normandy France

Pont du Hoc was the sight of a awful battle which resulted in the land being pockmarked by all the bombs that were dropped.  The craters can still be seen today and many are more than 6’ deep!Pont du Hoc Normandy France

One of the most amazing and serene places to visit is the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer.  This somber place overlooks Omaha Beach and the English Channel.

There are 9,387 US service men and women buried here.American Cemetery Normandy France

At the center of the cemetery is the The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves statue.Normandy Statue at American Cemetery France

Etched on the inner face of the arc surrounding the statue are the words:

THIS EMBATTLED SHORE,
PORTAL OF FREEDOM,
IS FOREVER HALLOWED BY THE IDEALS,
THE VALOR AND THE SACRIFICES
OF OUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN

 

 

For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!

Maybe I’ll see you there.

Mont St Michel

The Grand Rue is full of souvenir shops and tourists but I didn’t seem to mind.  I just loved being inside the walls of this magnificent structure and was in awe of its impressive beauty .

As you climb the steep steps to the Abbey you will discover the stunning architecture Mont St Michel is famous for.

 

This medieval town is a wonder to behold.

 

Mont St Michel France

Have you been to Mont St Michel??

 

For more great pictures, make sure to look into Budget Travelers Sandbox.

Every Thursday they post new photos from their travels and invite others to join in!  Maybe I’ll see you there.

Gems of Normandy

Have you visited the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy?  If so, you’re not alone.  Normandy is a very popular French destination and a lot of this is due to the events that happened 60+ years ago.  You definitely should visit the D-Day beaches, the WWII museum in Caen and those small unique museums you’ll pass driving from beach to beach.  It is hard to imagine the emotions you’ll feel until you are standing there looking out and visualizing the ships and men climbing up the sand.  Until you are actually there it is hard to grasp the immenseness of this endeavor and to fully appreciate what those brave soldiers did for us all.  Yes, it is my opinion that everyone should visit Normandy for this reason but there is much more to this region that should not be overlooked.

Normandy is an area full of orchards, rolling green hills, wonderful seaside villages, history, architectural gifts, art, wonderful seafood and more!  So let’s spend a little time talking about the other gems of Normandy!

Giverny is about an hour outside Paris and home to one of the world’s most famous artists, Monet.  His home and gardens are impressive but you should take the time to visit even though they can become quite congested during the summer months. 

Monet's Garden Normandy France

Monet's Garden

Apple Farms are abundant in Normandy and the drive along the Cider Route is a great adventure.  This route travels through many small captivating Norman villages and enchanting landscapes.  While enjoying the villages and scenery, make sure to stop along the way to enjoy tastes of the local cider, Calvados (Apple Brandy) and Pommeau (a traditional aperitif).  You won’t be disappointed.  The orchards are in full bloom end of April through end of May and harvest is from September to December. 

The seaside resorts of Normandy are full of alluring qualities that will invite you in to take a closer look.  In fact, you can visit any type of town you like from fishing ports, sandy beaches to chic villages complete with casinos.   A short list of the small cozier villages would include France’s oldest seaside resort of Dieppe, Etretat where you can spend hours wandering and viewing the amazing cliffs and rock formations, Trouville a low key version of Deauville and great place to take in the local culture to Cabourg where you can enjoy beaches, avenues bordered by beautiful trees and relive the Belle Epoque.

Cabourg Normandy Fishing Village France

Cabourg

Normandy is also horse country and the place where future champions are raised.  If you love horses a visit to Haras du Pin will not disappoint!  During your visit you will be able to see the stables, training center, blacksmith’s forge, paddocks and saddler’s room.  If you time it right, you may even witness a stallion parade or a show featuring the horses.  Maybe you will want to attend a horse race in Deauville, Cabourg or Caen?

Normandy is home to many food options.  Besides apples, there are many other fruits but cheese and seafood are in the running for top draw.  If you love cheese, then you will be excited to visit Normandy – – home to Camembert, Pont l’Eveque and Livarot cheeses.  A visit to the President Cheese farm will not disappoint!  Keeping with the subject of food, all seafood lovers will be in heaven during any visit to Normandy!  Specialties include herring, scallops and mussels (moules).  In fact, my husband thought he had died and gone to moules heaven during our visit.  To say he ate moules every day would not be an exaggeration!

Honfleur Harbor Normandy France

Honfleur Harbor

Yes there are many things to do in Normandy.  Tell me about your favorite.

Picture of Monet’s Garden by Selena N. B. H.
Picture of Honfleur Harbor by Allan Lee