Holidays with Hindrances 1 : Let’s get started in the Normandy

Well, now that I complained about the car troubles, let’s focus on the good parts, because it was an amazing holiday and I would hate to only remember the things that didn’t work.

There’s a couple of ways on how to get to Ireland, but for us the most practical one is to drive to Cherbourg in France and take the direct ferry to Ireland. You can sleep on the ship and arrive moderately rested to start your holiday. We needed to be at the ferry terminal around midday, so we started early the day before, planning to go as far as we wanted with enough time to spare for the next day. Now, whoever coined the saying that “all roads lead to Rome” has obviously never been to France. Driving through northern France either means to take a dip south and go to Paris, or take national roads which occasionally lead through small villages. We took the last option because really, I don’t want to go to Paris by car. We made good way and basically arrived in the target area late in the afternoon.

While the campsite was actually booked out, they did have a couple of places “dans la prairie”, basically a rain soaked meadow where we could spend the night. No problem here and they had mussels night, which is the best thing ever if you like mussels. They will just refill your bowl until you cannot possibly eat another mussel and then you’ll have some more.

A plate with mussels

©Giliell, all rights reserved

There’s probably few places that will constantly make you uncomfortable as a German as the Normandy*, because the history of D-Day is so present. Our campsite was directly located at “utah beach and we took a stroll down the foggy road.

A road marker telling you that this is Curry Road, named after private Curry who gor killed during the landing

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Our holiday started during that wet spell in August, so it looked more like autumn than summer, but it was beautiful, and #1 completely freaked out because the landscape looked like the house in the marshes from her favourite movie ever, When Marnie was There, by Studio Ghibli.

View over foggy masrshes, mostly water with tufts of grass

©Giliell, all rights reserved

Foggy marshes, mostly green land with the sea in the background

©Giliell, all rights reserved

A small house with blue shutters at the side of the sea

©Giliell, all rights reserved

An old small rowing boat, half rotten, in the high grass

©Giliell, all rights reserved


*Disclaimer: This is probably false. I guess that those people who really should feel uncomfortable don’t feel bad at all, while I, descendant of the survivors of Nazi terrorism for whom D-Day was as much a day of liberation as it was for the people of France, feel uncomfortable and carry the weight of history.



  1. says

    Jealous. When you take a holiday, you get to drive through France and go to Ireland and eat mussels. When I get a holiday, I get to see exotic Wisconsin.

    Wait, holiday? Americans don’t get those.

  2. says

    I’m sure there’s a lot of Wisconsin to see!
    Seriously, Europeans are equally fascinated and shocked learning that Americans don’t get paid holidays, only toped by our shock at learning that you don’t get paid sick leave or maternity leave either.

  3. billseymour says

    Lots of Americans do get paid leave of various kinds in various amounts, but it’s a contractual obligation, not a legal one.  For example, until I retired a bit over a year ago, I got very generous leave that was specified in a contract negotiated by the American Postal Workers Union.  Folks in lower-paid non-union jobs are out of luck (which I agree is shameful).

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