First wake up in my tent, first wake up in France. I can’t say I slept perfectly, but it’s always the case that it takes a few days to get used to sleeping in the tent. The weather the night before was very nice and warm with zero clouds, but in the middle of the night it got colder and I woke up under a sky full of heavy clouds. It took me a couple of hours to do my things and get ready to get on the bike and as I was leaving the campsite the rain started. Luckily it only lasted 20 minutes, so I didn’t get very wet. Even if I had a banana and that power-bar that guy offered me the day before for breakfast, I couldn’t help my self from jumping into the first bakery buying two freshly made croissants. After that I was on my way to the next town along the coast. The ride was relatively flat with only a few minor up and downs, but with very nice sceneries by the beach and endless fields with vegetables.
By midday I was in Barfleur, about 25km away from Cherbourg, which was one of my destinations as I had read it’s a nice little village and it was indeed. I sat in one of the fish restaurants by the little harbor and had some sardines for lunch.
After a short siesta on one of the benches by the harbor, I was on the road again following the coastline, but south this time. I kind of like when the compass is pointing south, as I know Athens is somewhere there.
On the way, I passed by a coastal town called St. Vaast-la-Hougue, where I was very surprised with the spectacle I saw. Opposite the town there is a little island with a fort and a museum. Once a day, this island gets connected with the mainland because of the tide, extending the beach by a couple of kilometers. The revealed bottom of the sea, was covered in oyster beds and people. Some of them were collecting oysters by hand, but most of them were heading to the island on foot, almost like marching. Apparently a music festival was taking place on the island, so all the visitors were able to just walk there. On their way back in the night after the waters cover the beach, they will have to get wet up to the waist. A bit strange, but fun as a local told me. I kind of liked the vibe of the town and I was thinking to spend the night there, but since I only had done 40km by then and it was still 4pm, I thought I should keep cycling for another 10-20 km to the next village, so I can devote the entire tomorrow on the D-day Utah beach.
On the way, many of the fields were populated with big cows. Thinking about the history of the place, I started remembering all these combat scenes we’ve seen on D-day related films and computer games, with parachuters fighting withing dead cows. I also did see my first German bunker in one of the fields, but there didn’t seem to be any access to approach it. A few more kilometers and I got to my destination which was Quineville, which is a rather small village with a very long and wide beach, ideal for surfing, kite boarding, horse riding and Europe invasions. Without any effort at all, I bumped into a campsite, where I decided to spend the night. It was a little bit basic but for only 5 euros I couldn’t really complain.
After I pitched the tent and I had a shower, I went around the beach, show the war memorials and then looked for something to eat. I had a greasy kebab and a beer. Then off to the tent for an early night in.
I wish I was there with you in nice Barfleur, eating fresh σαρδέλλες,by the beach.