"Gargoyles & Graffiti"chronicles architectural elements that I find interesting or unique in my travels. Gargoyles are my passion, but today graffiti (which I hate but am learning to love as it is everywhere) is as much a part of architecture as the gargoyles and decorative railings that thrill me.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Cherbourg and Normandy: Simply Wonderful

On the Holland America Ms Eurodam cruise from Barcelona to Dover, we made a stop at Cherbourg, France. I had no expectations. My aunt had been to the beaches of Normandy and found them cold and uninviting, so I decided to take a tour out to the countryside and to Val-de-Saire and Barfleur from the cruise ship. The towns looked charming and picturesque online. 
I actually met a family from Normandy when I was in Athens on a boat cruise and kind of felt sorry for them for having to live there (based on what my aunt had told me.) Little did I know that when I disembarked, I would fall in love with Normandy. It is a beautiful green countryside with ocean views. It just doesn't get better than that. I have heard the winters can be rough, but the day we arrived, it was warm but not hot ... the sun shone bright and the air was crisp. 

The bus meandered along the ocean road until we stopped at a lighthouse. While everyone else took photos of the lighthouse, I asked for permission to run down the road and take a photo of some sheep I saw grazing.

My favorite sheep

Dashing quickly as I knew I didn't have much time, I approached the sheep closest to the fence. She immediately came to me and rubbed her ear against my hand. She was so friendly and adorable. A man appeared with some clover, but she preferred to be petted. I found out from our guide later that they were English sheep. I loved petting her! I stayed as long as I could but when I saw everyone was back on the bus, I ran to catch up.

Amazing espresso and yummy bread and butter
We continued on to Barfleur, one of the most charming medieval towns I have ever been. Famished when we arrived, I went inside the only coffee shop I saw open and asked for a double espresso and pastry. All the barkeep had was french bread and butter. It was the tastiest bread and butter I have ever eaten. 

Back on the bus, we headed through the Val-de-Saire countryside, which is absolutely stunning. Our guide told us that the Camembert cheese comes from this area. I made sure when I returned to Cherbourg to pick up some Camembert at the local grocery. The Camembert cheese available in Cozumel where I live is good for one year. This cheese expires in 30 days as it does not have any preservatives. It was truly the most amazing cheese I have ever eaten in my life. The taste was nutty, creamy and sinfully delicious. After eating that cheese, I wanted to move to Normandy! (I loved the city of Cherbourg as well.) It must be the world's best kept secret.

 More information on Normandy can be found here


  1. She is adorable. I loved meeting her.

  2. And I forgot to mention, they love Americans in Normandy!