Friday, July 31, 2015

Mont St. Michel

We've visited before, more than once, but wanted a drive-by, especially to see how the new access is working...
From land

The new bridge...pedestrians, navettes, etc.

Just about all the windmills on the polder have been converted to residences...
nice ones too, with ready access to all the oysters one might want

La Place Patton At Avranches

Perhaps among the greater ruses in military history was the Allies' use of the disgraced general George Patton in the UK in early 1944. Knowing of the Germans' regard for Patton, Eisenhower and his team built a phony army around Patton, flooded the airwaves with its transmissions, and persuaded Hitler, if not his staff, that the Allied invasion of France would come at the Pas de Calais. In July of 1944, while the American armies were still stuck in the Normandy bocage, Patton was given command of the US Third Army at Avranches. After the carpet bombing of St. Lo, Third Army broke out and swept across France and into Germany--something the inventors of blitzkrieg could barely imagine--hindered only by Allied politics, liberating town after town, city after city, all the way to Berchtesgaden and beyond. OK, everyone has seen the movie Patton.  I have too; and read War As I Knew It, long ago. At Avranches is the Patton monument, something else I wanted to see.
La Place Patton in Avranches


Bust of Patton in his tanker's helmet

Another Sherman M-4, the tank Patton's armies used; the US
Army's  next generation of tank, throughout the Cold War era, was 
the Patton tank

In a dozen points like this, radiating from the central monument, are listed 
the major towns and cities liberated by Third Army: Dinan, St. Malo, Lorient 
(the major German submarine base), St. Nazaire, Nantes, Dinan, Laval, 
Le Mans, Alencon, Dreux, Mantes, Rennes, Saint-Brieuc, Quincamp, 
Morlaix, Brest,  Falaise, Paris, Orleans, Sens, Troyes, Saint-Dizier, Nancy, 
Angers, Chartres, Reims, Verdun, Metz, Baccarat, Strasbourg, Berchtesgaden; 
and not to forget the rescue at Bastogne

A hotel, and only two stars; but the movie was unforgettable, 
creating an American icon

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Granville And Pointe Du Roc

We camped at Granville's downtown aire--in a beautiful park just down from the main drag--and then next morning drove out to Pointe du Roc, the end of the peninsula on which Granville is set. (There is an aire there, too, very popular). All this July 24-25.
Encampment in Granville

Pond in the park; there was a petting zoo beyond the pond

Oddly, way west on the Cotentin Peninsula, Granville and
Pointe du Roc had one of the largest concentrations of gun
enplacements and casemates and such we have seen; converting
it to a historical exhibit of sorts, which I think is good; in most
places they are simply ignored


And thus; the 105mm (4 inch) guns were no match for naval
artillery; the Germans in this part of France were cut off very
quickly in the Normandy campaign

Lighthouse/semaphore (nautical operations)

Looking out to more Channel Islands

And Cancale and Pointe Grouin across the bay

Pretty place

Coutances Cathedral

Our next stop was Coutances, further down the coast, and its 13th century cathedral, set on the highest part of the town and visible for miles around.
Beautiful twin towers

Bow view, immense lantern tower at the crossing

There's a noticeable lack of ornamentation on the exterior;
other churches of this vintage would have sculptural decoration
all over the buttresses and towers

There are some nice gargoyles

And some sculpture near the west side

On the west facade, I think this is the Killer Rabbit of
Caerbannog, from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, dispatched,
at length, by Arthur and the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch

Knave view, a beautiful view, great color

Elevation; blind triforium

Thus, including the rose window

Standard 4-part ribbing in the nave

Side aisle

We've seen lot of Judgements at lots of cathedrals, but can not
remember one in glass; but there it is, south transept, 14th

Nice Hell, in Technicolor

Includes nobles and prelates, too

Resurrection of the Dead; not so colorful

Crossing, Lantern Tower

In a colorful chapel at the bow, the Circata, late 14th

"Jeez, a whole other half of the church to see!"

Innocent by-sitters

Apse ceiling

Kilroy was most certainly here in 1944, but
probably did not get into the church (later, the
Monuments Men would put up signs saying
that such places were booby-trapped and had
not been cleared of explosives)

In the 14th century apse

Beautiful carving throughout the interior

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Sculpture At Parish Church In Barneville Carteret

We spotted another 12th century Romanesque church, passing through Barneville Carteret and stopped for a look.
I guess I forgot to get much of an exterior photo; imagine,
however, a grey stone building, rectangular, thick walls, arches
all over, narrow or slit windows...

The interior was notable for having partitioned
pews, something new to us

The outside sculpture was similar to the rest we have seen
recently in such churches

If a bit tamer

Inside, so much tamer that they even tell Bible stories

Some of them

Some of them



Barneville is also the place where Gen. Bradley declared the
Cotentin, and Cherbourg, liberated, June18, 1944