Camembert au Calvados

22 Feb

Oui, oui!  For a far-too-quick week, this crumpet turned into a dairy product and roved the countryside of Basse-Normandie.  (Yes, I turned in to a cheese.  I love cheese.)  Following the model that served us well when we visited Skye last year (start here to read those posts), we set our base in a quiet holiday cottage in the middle of the Calvados area of Normandy and went out in various directions for day trips throughout the week — with a hefty dose of taking it easy, listening to birdsong, and eating local food mixed in.


I found this cottage online through tripadvisor and liked the look of it.  It’s always a bit of a leap when you book a holiday cottage — gites when you’re in france — but overall I think we lucked out.


Our hosts left wine, bread and milk for us, which was a welcome sight after a long drive down from Calais.  We came over on the Chunnel, which I was almost giddily excited about.  At first we weren’t sure how to navigate the boarding area, but:


We just followed our noses to the platform.


Which was pretty amazing — the Chunnel is fast, simple, and the least expensive path to France from the UK if you are bringing over your own vehicle.  It was like getting on the DC Metro — if you could drive your car on to the Metro.


Youngest was disappointed in the chunnel — she had imagined it would be a glassed tunnel and various fish and seals would swim around us.  That visit to the Bristol Zoo made a strong impression.

The drive from Calais in to the Normandy region is not to be underestimated.


Especially if it snows (!) on the way.

Our first morning we spent being thankful we made it through the storm to our cozy cottage, and enjoying some walks around the property.


We were deep in the bocage.


The area is known for turfed agricultural borders and deep ditches, which — at least at this time of year — are filled with fast-flowing water.


And very distinctive mud.


It’s rural, is what I’m saying to you.  Very, very rural.


We visited Bayeux and the Bayeux Tapestry, Mont-St-Michel, the D-Day beaches, Caen, Vire (our ‘local’ large town) and the Vire Valley.  After a good long nap, I’ll get those photos together and enjoy revisiting with you.


PS – You didn’t think I’d go to France and NOT take a photo of the village recycling point, did you?  Of course not.


You’re welcome.


8 Responses to “Camembert au Calvados”

  1. Selena February 22, 2013 at 10:12 am #

    I can’t wait to see more. We are taking our car over for the first time for Easter weekend to visit the Champagne Region. I’m was wondering what the chunnel would be like. I’m also liking the idea of a cottage rental. I’m going to have to check that out. Thanks so much for the post!

    • Monique March 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      Oh, what a wonderful trip you will have! And the roads in France were such easy driving, especially compared to wild English or Scottish country roads. 😉 I love a cottage rental, so relaxed and quiet.

  2. Zazamataz February 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Oh, I so want to have gone with you. Reading about and looking at your lovely photos is nice – but it sounds (and looks) like such a wonderful trip! Looking forward to reading more.

    Don’t know that I could do the chunnel. I suppose that once you’re inside, you can’t escape so I’d have no choice but I barely made it through the tunnel under the east river in NY.

    • Monique March 2, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

      I was worried about the potential claustrophobia, but it was really much better than I expected. If you can handle a subway ride, I bet you can handle the Chunnel.

  3. satnavandcider February 26, 2013 at 5:38 pm #

    You are too funny! That last photos was so unexpected and yet should have been expected. 🙂 I can’t wait to read about and see the rest of your trip.

    • Monique March 2, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      I have long-range plans: “Recycling Centers Of The World: A Photo Journal”


  1. No | Crumpets in Camelot - March 2, 2013

    […] know, I’m supposed to have gone for a nap and then told you all about visiting Normandy.  Instead, I’ve been boycotting my own blog. […]

  2. Maybe | Crumpets in Camelot - March 9, 2013

    […] (Just so you know: This is my empty cup of espresso from a cafe stop in Normandy. See? I’m staying on theme.) […]

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