Living France - - DÉCOUVREZ -

Hav­ing re­turned from a hol­i­day in Nor­mandy, usu­ally well known for the D-Day Land­ings, I want to share with you some hid­den gems we stum­bled upon.

The photo ( right) is taken in Hameau Costard show­ing a row of pre-war French shops recre­ated out­side a large bis­cuit out­let.

Our near­est town was StSau­veur-le-Vi­comte, which boasts a 13th-cen­tury château and a small ceme­tery in the shad­ows of its ram­parts. Here, in the mid­dle of rows of pau­pers’ graves, we dis­cov­ered the tombs of two both­ers; Ab­bot Léon Bar­bey d’Aure­villy, who had worked among the poor, and the fa­mous French au­thor Jules-Amédée Bar­bey d’Aure­villy, whose body had been brought from the Mont­par­nasse ceme­tery in Paris to lie be­side his brother in the town of their birth. There is now a mu­seum in their former fam­ily home.

On an­other oc­ca­sion, we found our­selves in an or­chard in the lit­tle town of Néhou, where Gen­eral Pat­ton had hid­den for sev­eral weeks com­mand­ing Op­er­a­tion Co­bra in the Sec­ond World War. On the same theme, we vis­ited a bustling mar­ket in Bric­que­bec where, in the court­yard of the town’s an­cient château, is a con­crete Pyra­mide de Mé­moire en­cas­ing ob­jects washed up onto Utah Beach from the Sec­ond World War, such as hel­mets, lighters, shrap­nel and drink­ing ves­sels. A fit­ting me­mo­rial for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. Glenys Alice El­lis Eger­ton, Bolton

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