November 30, 2020

Bayeux Tapestry Museum

The town of Bayeux in Normandy, France is famous for an 11th century tapestry depicting the Norman conquest of England by William the Conquerer in 1066. The wall hanging consists of nine panels of linen cloth (measuring 70 meters  or 224 feet in total length) embroidered in ten different colours of wool thread. It was probably commissioned for a new cathedral in Bayeux and is now on display at the Bayeux Tapestry Museum.

Replica Detail from the Bayeux Tapestry

November 09, 2020

The Poppy: Symbol of Remembrance

Here in Canada, November 11th is Remembrance Day. Millions of Canadians will wear a red poppy in support of the Royal Canadian Legion and, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, pause to honour the sacrifices of those who have lost their lives at war.

October 28, 2020

Dream Now, Travel Later

 Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit us all early in 2020, I've had ample time to write about my visit to France last year. But I got distracted and stopped posting and there seems to be no end in sight to the crazy goings-on in the world.

June 01, 2020

D-Day Landings: Omaha Beach

When the Allied invasion of Normandy began on June 6, 1944, American troops stormed two beaches, codenamed Omaha and Utah. Many lives were lost in battle and since the end of World War II a number of memorials and war museums have been established in France. My tour last year to the landing sites of D-Day included Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc and the Normandy American Cemetery.

Omaha Beach, Normandy

May 25, 2020

D-Day Landings: Juno Beach

Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, began on the morning of June 6, 1944. Canadian forces landed on a 10-kilometre stretch of coastline codenamed Juno Beach and, along with American and British forces on nearby beaches, began their heroic mission to liberate France from Nazi Germany.

Juno Beach, Normandy

May 18, 2020

D-Day Landings: Pegasus Bridge

"In the first minutes of 6 June 1944, glider-borne troops of the 6th Airborne division
captured the bridge which was on this site over the Caen Canal. It was one of the first
objectives of the Allied landings in Normandy. It was renamed Pegasus Bridge
after the emblem of British Airborne Forces."

Pegasus Bridge, Normandy

March 16, 2020

Honfleur: The Old Port

The French port of Honfleur is located on the coast of Normandy where the Seine River flows into the English Channel. Samuel de Champlain set sail from the port to New France (now Canada) and founded the city of Quebec. Centuries later, Honfleur became the "birthplace of Impressionism" when artists like Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet set up their easels outdoors to paint the picturesque town.

The Old Port of Honfleur, France

March 09, 2020

Deauville: The Parisian Riviera

Before my trip to France I'd never heard of Deauville but that's probably because I'm neither a wealthy Parisienne nor a Hollywood film star. This chic, upscale resort on the coast of Normandy boasts the nearest beach to Paris (two hours away) and it's also home of the annual Deauville American Film Festival, thus earning its nickname as the Parisian Riviera.

Deauville, France

February 24, 2020

Rouen: Capital of Normandy

The capital of the region of Normandy in northwestern France is a city rich in history. Rouen was frequently visited by the Impressionist artist Claude Monet; one of its restaurants introduced renowned chef Julia Child to French cuisine; and its old market square still pays homage to the young martyr Joan of Arc.

Notre-Dame Cathedral, Rouen

February 17, 2020

Giverny: Claude Monet's Home & Garden

As a fan of both beautiful gardens and the art of Impressionist painter Claude Monet, a visit to his home in Giverny was a highlight of my trip to France. The day dawned cool and rainy but overcast skies softened the shadows and enhanced the watercolour hues of the irises, roses and peonies at the height of spring bloom.

Claude Monet's House in Giverny