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Posts Tagged ‘D-Day’

Visiting Mont-Saint-Michel

Posted by dan on November 26, 2010

Mont Saint-Michel is the highlight of the region, but there is much more to see. The best way to visit the sights is definitely by car – this gives the flexibility and freedom to explore the area and stay wherever one decides to stay.

Organized tours are also a convenient way for getting to the main sights as you don’t have to worry about logistics in advance and worry if the trip will work out well.

You can rent a car and there are many tour operators in the regional cities, such as Cherbourg, Caen, Roscoff, St Malo, Bayeux or Rennes. You can get to these places by train within France and/or by ferry from the UK.

Although very infrequent, public transport is also an option, at least to some of the main sights such as Mont-Saint-Michel (MSM). You can arrange the tickets in advance for longer trips and you can take local services without  advance booking.

MSM can be connected to Paris using the combination of the TGV fast train and local buses. The whole trip can be booked online in advance on the http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/ or http://www.voyages-sncf.com websites. For further info see blog post: SNCF – booking trains in France .

Visiting MSM from the coastal town of Saint-Malo, itself a worthy destination, is even simpler. Saint-Malo can be reached by TGV directly (SNCF – booking trains in France) or by ferry from the UK on the http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk website. For further info see blog post: Brittany Ferries – crossing the Channel .

From Saint-Malo there are two buses a day to MSM, departing from the railway station (Gare TGV) at 9:40 and 16:30 – the bus also stops a few minutes later at the tourist information office (Saint-Vincent), which is 5 minutes walk from the ferry terminal. You have to change bus at Pontorson railway station but there are connecting buses. If you take the morning bus from Saint-Malo, you can get back the same day at 15:45 from MSM or 16:25 from Pontorson. If you take the afternoon bus, you can get back the following day at 9:20 from MSM or 9:55 from Pontorson. If time permitting, the overnight visit is better – you can see the mont at sunset, illuminated at night and early morning – the best colours and least crowds – and at different tides. There is a wide selection of accommodation in the area including MSM itself. The fare for the whole bus trip from/to Saint-Malo is 5.50 euro one way.


Travel TipBooking trains in France: http://www.tgv-europe.com/en/ or http://www.voyages-sncf.com
.

Ferry from/to UK: http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk

See also blog posts: Saint-Malo , Mont Saint-Michel SNCF – booking trains in France , Brittany Ferries – crossing the Channel

Posted in France, Travel tips | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Remembering all – Armistice Day

Posted by dan on November 23, 2010

Poppy flowers on Southsea Beach, a D-Day embarcation point

Poppy flowers on Southsea Beach, a D-Day embarkation point

Although my great grand father died on the wrong side in World War I, being sent as a K und K soldier to the Russian front to fight for the Austrian empire, he was just as a victim as soldiers on the other side or any other innocent people who died, and continue dying, in wars. And although no poppy flowers grow on the streets of cities and the victims of wars are not always uniformed, as far as I am concerned, they all are remembered.

In the UK you could see people wearing the poppy flowers weeks before and weeks after the 11th of November. Chinese officials complained about the use of poppy as it reminded them the Opium wars, but I can assure them this is not the same poppy. A handful of Muslim extremist made a bit of noise, but the Muslim community in general understands that most British people think about this event and the victims of wars the same as I or most of us do. Even we, thousands of miles away from conflict zones, are victims of these same wars, even if in much less drastic ways.

“Armistice Day (also known as Remembrance Day) is on 11 November and commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918.

After World War II, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in the United States and to Remembrance Day in countries of the British Commonwealth of Nations. Armistice Day remains an official holiday in France. It is also an official holiday in Belgium, known also as the Day of Peace in the Flanders Fields.

In the UK after the end of WWII, most Armistice Day events were moved to the nearest Sunday and began to commemorate both World Wars. The new commemoration was named Remembrance Sunday or Remembrance Day. Both Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday are now commemorated formally in the UK.”

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armistice_Day

Images of Armistice Day around the world: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-11733602

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