A few snapshots, a few thoughts, Normandy 2010

by cheri block

I had hoped to chronicle my thoughts and feelings while in Paris and Normandy, just like a splendid journalist.

Instead, I studied my French language book before entering at least four pharmacies in France and had amusing abbreviated conversations with patient French pharmacists. Ultimately, my theatrics worked better than my French.

This entry will be short <cough, cough>, but I did want to show you a few of the 600 photos we took while in the gorgeous French countryside.

Normandy, France

We stayed at the Chateau d Audrieu, a lovely quiet place with only 29 rooms. I found it difficult to imagine that over 31 Canadian soldiers were shot in this courtyard by the Nazis (right outside our window on the right).

We visited a number of Romanesque and Romanesque-Gothic churches, both large and small, in Normandy. I have never seen stained glass windows like these which pay tribute to the brave American soldiers who risked their lives for a people they did not know.

Look carefully!

Along with our  guide, Christophe, we traveled to Omaha Beach, the widest beach I have ever seen. As if to soothe my heart, out in surf whished a Standardbred harness horse. Did you know that I am a horse nut? I don’t think I have shared that tidbit before. My first horse, Yankee, was a Standardbred…pretty tough to post on an English saddle to that fast trot. Anyway, I am now distracting myself (again) from the reality of what happened on Omaha Beach.

Thank you, soldiers.

We traveled to the American Cemetery in Normandy, where over 9000 American men are buried, far from their homes. There, we visited Hyman Barash and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr.

That’s all for now, my friends.

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
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10 Responses to A few snapshots, a few thoughts, Normandy 2010

  1. Richard says:

    A timely reminder of terrible times and of the sacrifice.

    The incongruity, too, so wonderfully brought out in your pictures. and a warning not to take peace for granted.

    Yes, you have spoken before of your love of horses.

    Don’t bother to reply.

  2. Thanks for sharing your journey and thoughts–great job of conveying the conflicting emotions.

  3. Cheri says:

    Thank you for that. I have more to say about my journey–Alcibiades, Paris, the French, Normandy…and will do so in good time.

  4. Man of Roma says:

    Fascinating post and pictures. And a terrible moment in history (all those young dead men and crosses …)

    It is good to have you back friend!

  5. Cyberquill says:

    The left cheval looks like a mule.

  6. Cheri,

    The pictures are wonderful. I’ve never seen trotters on a beach and, as I told you previously, I know a nurse who served the wounded in Normandy.

    What I didn’t mention was that this nurse went on to be professed as a nun. She is old now and still wears the habit. People are not always what they would appear to be.

    How fun that you are a horse lover. I ride Western and love it. My only attempt at jumping was when my horse decided he didn’t care what kind of hat I wore because he was going over a fence. It thrilled me beyond belief.

    Lots of hugs on your return of good health. Let’s have a pic of you and the Judge causing some trouble.

    • Cheri says:

      Yahooooo! (not the internet company)

      I promised J.B. that his face would not appear on my blog. He’s still arbitrating/mediating and luckily, none of the attorneys hiring him know that on his wife’s blog, she calls him Judge Blah.

  7. I had no idea they put stained-glass windows of that time into their ancient churches.

    I can’t quite make out the scene in the one below which you say “Look Carefully!”

    Hope you’re feeling better.

    • Cheri says:

      I am, thank-you.

      If you click on that last picture and enlarge it, you will see that the window has the typical image of Mary and Christ child, but on each side of her are paratroopers. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

      I had no idea, either. Quite spunky of them, I’d say.

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