My Visit with Archie – Page 03

Off to Normandy

“Over the Bounding Main”

Archie and I left the Dock Yard and drove to the Portsmouth to Le Havre Ferry.  We were early (it was 5 PM and the ferry left at 11PM). This was the overnight ferry.  Archie picked this ferry because we could sleep aboard and avoid an overnight hotel charge in France.  A good move!

0400 Waiting for the FerryA word about Archie’s car: It is a 10 year old Fiat “Punto” in excellent condition.  It has a 5 speed manual transmission and  a 4 cylinder.1.2 liter engine that get over 50 miles per gallon.  It clipped along at 60+ MPH and carried Archie and I quite comfortably.  It was great to have a car in France because we drove many miles with lots of side trips.  “Thanks, Archie!!”

0405 Norman VoyagerThis is the “Norman Voyager”.  It is a UK registered ship with space for 200 cars and 120 tractor trailers and can carry 800 passengers. There are 120 – 2 and 4 bed cabins. The cars are on the top deck and the trucks are on the lower 2 decks. We must have had a full load of trucks because they went on first and there was a non-stop parade of them boarding before us.

0413 English ChannelHere is our route across the English Channel (or La Manche- as the French call it). It took about 6 hours for the crossing.  During the D Day invasion, all the Allied invasion forces (troops, trucks, tanks, etc.) crossed from many ports in England at this wide point.  It must have been a long anxious trip for the troops!!

I think the Germans were expecting the invasion forces to cross from Dover to Calais. A much shorter route.  They were fooled, weren’t they!

0408 Norman VoyagerThis is the car deck.  When we boarded it was wet.  It hadn’t been raining.  Maybe they hosed it down?


0410 Ferry LoungeThis is the lounge/bar.  As you can see, business is brisk.

0415 Ferry SunsetSunset on La Manche.

0420 Our Ferry StateroomArchie had brought 2 sleeping bags so we curled up for a night’s sleep in our comfy seats.  Obviously, we didn’t have a cabin.

0435 Other Ferry StateroomsHere are some of our fellow passengers also enjoying their snooze.

0440 Full English Bfst 0445 Full English Bfst Bright and early the next morning (Day 3 of my visit) we breakfasted on a “Full English Breakfast”. It consisted of: A fried egg, baked beans, broiled tomato, a slice of ham, a strip of bacon, some mushrooms,  a half a bagette, and finally a piece of fried bread.  GULP!!

0412 English Channel After that feast, a turn on the deck was called for.

After disembarking at Le Havre, we proceeded west along the Normandy caost and stopped at Deauville.

0520 DeauvilleWith its race courseharbor, international film festival, marinas, conference center, villas, Grand Casino and sumptuous hotels, Deauville is regarded as the “queen of the Norman beaches” and one of the most prestigious seaside resorts in all of France. The closest seaside resort, when coming from Paris, the city and the nearby region of the Côte Fleurie (Flowery Coast) has long been home to French high society‘s seaside houses and is often referred to as the Parisian riviera. Since the 19th century, the town of Deauville has been a fashionable holiday resort for the international upper class. Deauville is also a desirable family resort for the wealthy. In France,

 Guess what?  We thought we were in Deauville, but we were actully across the River Touques. in Trouville-sur-Mer, but the above narrative still applies, This is the Trouville-sur-Mer “Hotel De Ville” (City Hall).  

After all that confusion, Archie needed a mid-morning coffee so we stopped the Brasserie le Central.  It is the cafe with the red awning in the lower right.

0530 Deauville PastryWho could resist French Pastry?  We had our first Croissant and cafe aux lait.

I took a little walk around town while Archie went back to the car to be sure we had time left on the parking meter.  He didn’t want a ticket.  He didn’t get one.0560 Deauville FlaubertThis is a statue of Gustav Flaubert the French writer who is counted among the greatest novelists in Western literature. He is known especially for his first published novelMadame Bovary (1857).  He spent some time here so I guess he rates a statue.

0570 Deauville Fish MarketNear Flaubert’s statue is a real neat seafood market with oysters, fish and other fruites de mer.  This is one of several stalls.

0540 Deauville CasinoOne final picture before we hit the beaches: This is the Casino at Trouville-sur-Mer (which we thought was the Casino at Deauville).  Oh well, If you see one casino, you’ve seen them all…

Now on to Page 4 and the D Day beaches.

Go to Page 4

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