Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Fun is Not Found in a Straight Line


Loraine, beaches, chocolate, and cows. Today was a perfect day.

When we got back into Ste. Mere Eglise today after a long day of playing outside I saw the English language bumper stick from which I stole the title of today's blog. In slightly different words it's something I try to tell everyone when they ask about our travels, or are looking for advice on what they should do when traveling. Don't do the things everyone else does, unless you really want to. Don't take the freeways or the interstate to get from one place to the other. Instead, meander. Take the roads less traveled. Go places most people don't go. Stay off of roads solely designed to get you from one place to the other as quickly as possible.

Zig when everyone else is zagging. Oftentimes, you may find the most amazing things.

For instance, what was your view today as you were eating lunch?

Here was mine--

And here's the story of how it came about. Our big objective for the day was to finally locate and visit a place called Fort de Roule, a museum and overlook located high atop the cliffs above the port city of Cherbourg. When we were here four years ago we tried to visit, but spent an hour driving around the city in vain trying to find it. This time, armed with better directions, we found the fort with its views of the city--

But the museum, for some reason, didn't open until 12:30. Since this was at 10 and we didn't want to waste the whole day waiting around, we decided to move on, to see what we could see, and we started off by visiting Cherbourg's Public Gardens--

Home, much to Loraine's delight, to some weird waterfowl, including a wood duck--

From there, we just headed west to the (literal) end of France, not taking the main roads, but finding ourselves hugging small coastal roads, going up & down hills, and stopping every few kilometers to check out views like this--

Or this--

And that's how we ended up at our lunch site of Port Racine. We were just driving along, saw a gaggle of hikers from Germany and Belgium admiring the view, and figured if they could do it, so could we.

And so we did.

If we had taken the “main” road to our next destination, if we had merely followed that straight line, we never would've come across the panoramic outlooks, the winding roads, the hikers from Germany and Belgium, or the amazing place to have lunch. So the next time you're planning a getaway, keep that in the back of your mind. After all, you never know what incredible thing you'll see or do.

We saw and did all of that while we were driving to the edge of France. And when I say “the edge of France”, I'm not kidding--

That is the town of Goury, which sits on the extreme northwestern tip of the Cotentin Peninsula—the literal edge of France. Once you drive here, you can't drive any more. In fact, the island in the background is one of the Channel Islands—part of the U.K. And as we were checking out the incredible sites Loraine saw something, led me down a path, and showed me this--

She's the perfect woman. And with the cows and the beaches and all the other sights along the route she picked out, it became the perfect day.

Actually, once we found the edge of France, we picked our way back along the coast, finding even more amazing things like the town of Dielette with its harbor--

And its Tour de France sign--

I think I ended up taking almost 200 pictures today, more than the rest of the trip combined. And I would have to guess that at least 170 of them were either coastline or Tour de France stuff or cows. So consider yourself lucky that I'm not posting any more than what's above!

Tomorrow we meet up with our friends the Renauds for a museum visit before then meeting up with our friend Thierry for a bit before heading back to Bayeux for the rest of our stay. It kind of blows my mind that we left Marquette one week ago tomorrow, but it's true. But at least we still have three and a half days left to take those roads that aren't straight.

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