France
Normandy

Here you’ll find travel reports about Normandy. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

287 travelers at this place:

  • Day924

    Étang d'Incheville Aire

    January 6 in France ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

    We've treated ourselves to a paying aire. €9.50 gives us 24 hours of electric hookup, fresh water, and all waste disposal facilities including glass and packaging recycling. Through our windscreen we can see Incheville Lake stretching up its small valley. It is wonderfully quiet, no main roads run nearby and grass surrounds the tarmacced parking area that we have all to ourselves.

    Before the light fades we set out on the 3km track around the lake. It is a dull day, with no direct sunshine penetrating the thick cloud layer to highlight winter's colour; the valley's woodlands, fields and few houses appearing as if in sepia. There are many wooden fishing pontoons projecting out from the grassy bank. They appear to be on long term loans to individuals, like allotments. Most have fencing or hedges and a gate shielding them from passers by and many have sheds. We encounter lots of dogs and their walkers enjoying a Sunday stroll and exchange friendly 'bonjour's. We are beginning to be able to enjoy seeing other dogs and be happy for the many wonderful walks we shared with Poppy.

    An unusual feature of Étang d'Incheville is the flocks of fake waterfowl floating on its surface. We've never seen them before, but there must be hundreds on this lake, fanning out in groups of about 30 from anchored buoys. With Geese, Eiders and Mallards, they look very realistic but we can't find any information boards that shed light on why they are there. Is it to encourage migrating birds to land and nest?

    Incheville was a nice spot but there were no shops within walking distance and we were running low on food, so we set off south, hoping to stock up at a supermarket on the way.
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  • Day927

    Nonancourt aire

    January 9 in France ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    Nonancourt feels very familiar to both of us but we've never stayed in its free aire before. It offers 6 places near the Town Hall, looking out onto the tall trees and lawns that make up its grounds. We are alone here to start with and it is quiet, the only cars that pass, crawl slowly to the small Town Hall car park. Sadly the fresh water tap and electric points are turned off but we can survive without them.

    Snatches of sunshine light an otherwise overcast day so when the clouds part at around 1:30pm we go exploring. Unfortunately the lunch time closing catches us out and most shops are shut but we enjoy gazing up at Nonancourt's higgldy piggldy houses, leaning this way and that. Timber frames of brown and black preside and lead down to the central square, where a cheese seller is just packing up their van. It looks as if there might have been a market on in the morning. We cross the two channels of the little River Avre that runs an artificially straight course through the lower end of town. High sided houses rise out of the water and many have private bridges, a little larger than gangplanks, that lead from their back doors, over the Avre to the street.

    Nonancourt is obviously on a popular route because back at Martha Motorhome, as the daylight faded, we were joined by 3 other vans, all with GB plates. Now, it is customary for those in motorhomes to give each other a friendly wave when passing on the road and to at least acknowledge each other with a nod when pulling up in an aire. Our neighbour, who resembled Mr Smithers from The Simpsons, studiously avoided all eye contact, then proceeded to fill his bucket at the river and use a long handled brush and mop to give the outside of his van a full wash, in direct defiance of the signs forbidding it. At least one other left their waste pipe open to dribble grey water over the tarmac. No, it wasn't the end of the world, but it was disrespectful and made us ashamed to be associated with them by way of our nationality.

    After a frosty night Vicky got up, did Pilates then went to fetch freshly baked croissants and a baguette from the boulanger on Grande Rue, whose information board promised they would be open at 6:45am. At 8:15am there was no signs of life but fortunately the lights of the artisan boulanger next to the grey stone Église Saint-Martin were spilling out onto the main square and had croissants aplenty that we enjoyed for breakfast.

    Before finally departing Nonancourt, we returned once again to the cobbled alleys and timber framed buildings to pick up a few groceries, then a couple of hyacinths from the florist's to brighten up the van.
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  • Day925

    Poses, La Seine

    January 7 in France ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

    We've crossed into Normandy and have found a spot aside the Seine. It's a wet and potholed layby off a dead end side track but there is a lovely view out of our front and side windows. The river is wide, but it is only when we look at the map that we realise the opposite bank is actually that of an island; one of several in this large meander loop. Further channels flow around the tree topped isles and occasionally huge transport barges can be seen ploughing their way upstream before disappearing behind the landmasses. Accross the water, rural hills rise up and a couple of outcrops of bare chalk stand prominently, one of which has been carved out to house a gun emplacement, presumably last used in the world wars.

    Before leaving our lakeside aire this morning we bit the bullet and sorted out the van insurance, which was up for renewal at the end of the month. Since Will turned 50 (nearly 15 years ago now) we have been using SAGA. Unlike most policies, theirs allowed us to spend as much time as we liked in Europe, but the premium rose to nearly £1000 last year after Vicky scraped a parked car and this year's quote was more than half again at £1529 because the company had not yet resolved the case of someone driving into the back of us in July in Denmark, despite 20 years protected no claims bonus. It was a big price hike so after ascertaining that they couldn't reduce it, we looked into other insurers. Adrian Flux would insure us for under £800 but restricted our roamings to 270 days a year, however, Comfort has a specialist full timers policy for £1300 whose only restriction was that you couldn't spend more than 6 months in any one foreign country each year. The thing that swung it for us was the unlimited mileage. Saga's quote restricted us to 16,000 miles and we'd always made travel plans with this in mind. So, Comfort has taken a big chunk of money from our credit card this month, but lifted a big weight from our minds.

    Insurance done and dusted, we set off this morning towards an Intermarché Will had found on the sat nav and were disappointed to find it closed. Several other supermarkets we passed were also shut but after a hunch and a small detour, Will found an open Super U. Vicky was feeling weak so let him go in by himself. After a long wait she began to think she'd made a mistake; we haven't done a 'big shop' for months and Will does tend to get a bit carried away. She wasn't reassured when he came out with a trolley full of purchases and a faux innocent look on his face!

    Once we'd squeezed the trolley load into our little cupboards and tucked into the french stick for lunch, we set off once again through the region's wide open fields and outcrops of barren winter trees. Passing by Rouen we managed to spot the island we'd stayed on and canoed round several years ago when we visited France in our old motorhome with Poppy and our ancient chocolate lab, Bronwyn. Today we were looking for somewhere out of the way, so followed the Seine to Poses.

    Upon arriving, Vicky was unsure about staying so close to the campsite that our road runs adjacent to, but it was closed for winter so we stopped for 2 peaceful nights, having agreed to slow down our travels. Giving ourselves more time at each place is good for getting things done and Will was feeling very productive. He fixed his broken clothes drawer, sewed up the hole in his trousers and attached the tape lights Vicky had got for Christmas, to the van's electrics via a switch he'd bought at Super U. Vicky carefully positioned them above the rotating driver and passenger seats and peeled back the cover from the self adhesive tape, sticking them into place. She'd chosen a warm white light and we were both surprised at how bright they are. We'd previously strung battery operated fairy lights around the cab but they didn't output much light into this previously dull area of the van. We are really pleased with the tape lights, we just hope the glue holds!

    It wasn't all work, when we saw the sun peaking out we set off downriver and managed to make it to a huge wier that had a footbridge, where you could stand and look down on the rushing water. Temperatires are still in single figures but it was good to get out, especially as Will is continuing to improve after his hospital visits. The route took us through woodland corridors and past a range of old and expensive looking detached houses set within their own grounds. Many had private terraces over the water and one even had a swimming pool in the back garden. Away from the homes were guest moorings for large boats, and a few permanent ones that looked like livaboards.

    On the last morning Vicky went for a walk through the village's quiet streets and emerged between two lakes just in time to catch the sun rising over Lac du Mesnil. All in all Poses was a good place to wild camp for a couple of nights.
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  • Day135

    St Michael's Mount

    October 19, 2017 in France ⋅ 🌫 14 °C

    This morning we walked about 6kms from Penzance to St Michael's Mount, a small tidal island in Mount's Bay. The island is linked to the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low water. It started out as a reasonable-looking day and progressively deteriorated into a windy rainy one. By the time we walked back across the causeway anything not covered by our raincoats was drenched! We dragged our dripping bodies into a warm dry restaurant and filled our stomachs - always a good solution. It was a great walk a fun as well!Read more

  • Day673

    Le Vaudreuil

    April 30, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌧 5 °C

    Now on the fifth day of driving, we are getting used to France's frequent roundabouts and to be fair, we've had some good long stretches on the motorway too. Tonight's stop at Le Vaudreuil was a gravel car park surrounded by lush greenery; mature trees, long grasses and Spring woodland flowers, including a lot of wild mustard. The presence of white marquees alerted us to an event taking place a couple of fields away. We went to investigate, but found it to be a flower show charging €5 entry, so decided to go for a stroll along the river bank instead. Within a tree corridor with grass verges and a mature hedge, the waterway reminded us a little of the canals that we spent so many hours walking in the UK. It'll be lovely to nip back for a quick visit before the next leg of our European tour.Read more

  • Day3

    Médiathèque und Rathaus

    September 20, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 21 °C

    Ich melde mich jetzt schon einmal wieder, weil ich ahne, dass ich nachher zu müde sein werde, als dass ich dann einen geraden Satz schreiben könnte.
    Mein Tag hat wieder zur gleichen Uhrzeit angefangen wie Gestern. Ich bin auch wieder um zwanzig nach acht zur Schule gelaufen und hab mich da mit den Deutschen getroffen. Als alle da waren haben wir uns in der CDI (Bibliothek) versammelt und eine Dreiviertelstunde lang Sachen besprochen und Spiele gespielt.
    Der erste richtige Programmpunkt war dann eine kleine Rally in der Médiathèque, wo alle jeweils mit ihren Austauschpartnern Sehenswürdigkeiten aus Deutschland verschiedenen Plakaten entnehmen und erklären mussten. Das hat Spaß gemacht und ich konnte allen ganz gut helfen.
    Als nächstes sind wir dann die zwei Schritte von der Médiathèque zum Rathaus gegangen und wurden da vom Bürgermeister begrüßt. Nach seiner kleinen Ansprache gab es Küchlein und Getränke und dann für alle eine blaue Regenjacke geschenkt. Draußen haben wir Bilder gemacht und sind dann zurück zur Schule gelaufen, wo es Essen gab. Ich war dann erst einmal im Lehrerzimmer und habe gelesen und Estelle mit dem ‚Aufbauen‘/Aufhängen eines Spiels geholfen.
    Mit Mama und ihrem Kollegen sind wir dann in den Schlosspark gegangen und haben eine Spazierrunde gedreht, wo ich gemerkt habe, dass ich mich bei Bäumen überhaupt nicht auskenne.
    Wieder in der Schule haben wir noch eine Stunde in der CDI verbracht und sind dann nach Hause gelaufen. Jetzt bin ich wirklich ziemlich müde, aber freu mich aufs Abendessen und dann danach das Bett.
    Ich hab heute nicht viel gemacht aber anscheinend macht auch oder gerade das echt müde. Also dann euch allen noch einen schönen Abend und dann bis morgen.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Normandy, Normandie, Normandia

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