By Linda Carter as published in The Wakulla News
Twelve-foot wide multi-story buildings, with roofs perched precariously atop, line up like soldiers in a row, Wander through the market’s winding streets. Full of stereotypical French shops, boucherie, butcher shop, pasticcerie, bakery, fromagerie, cheese shop, poissonnerie, fish shop, foreign names, and exotic foods. Ogle at the windows stuffed with morsels almost too beautiful to eat. Stop and sample the mouthwatering delicacies. American takeout pales in comparison to beautiful take-away dinners, that taste and look as if they belong in a five star restaurant. The French love affair with food is evident here.
Wander further down the ancient streets and experience the dichotomy. Meat spins on roasters, and men lean out windows hawking food to the passerby. Centuries old picture-perfect French buildings with signs reading le Chinese food, le Thailandese, le Balinese, and kebab advertise dinner choices. Even in France, variety abounds.
Nearby, hidden within the maze of city streets is a green oasis. Gardens overflow with rhododendron, primrose, old garden roses, azaleas, iris and fountains tinkle in the background. The natural history museum’s artifacts from around the world, and a large collection of vertebrates and invertebrates invite a visit.
Cherbourg was the first stop on the Titanic’s fatal voyage; so visit The Museum of the Sea. Experience what it was like for emigrants leaving for America, and see how the Titanic was constructed in the “Titanic, Return to Cherbourg.” exhibit. Explore a nuclear submarine, or marvel at marine life in giant aquariums. There is something for the whole family at this museum.
Explore the beaches of Normandy made famous during World War Two. The monument at Pointe du Hoc honors the rangers who scaled the cliff and captured the German command bunker. A visit to Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno & Sword Beaches followed by the USA Cemetery provides a moving reminder of our countrymen’s great sacrifice. No one can fail to be moved by the sacrifices of these young men.
The famous Bayeux Tapestries depicts the 1066 Norman conquest of England. An embroidered linen measuring 230’ long, the tapestry is housed in the old Bayeux Seminary. The 13th century Cathedral of Notre Dame in Bayeux, resembles its namesake in Paris, its 11th century Gothic crypts the only remnants of a medieval priory once located here.
Ideal as a base for Normandy, take the time to explore charming Cherbourg, France.