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      May 2011 > Happy Birthday, Normandy!

Happy Birthday, Normandy!

Beautiful NormandyIt’s Normandy’s 1100th birthday this year – so why not pop across the Channel and join in the celebrations?

It all started in the year 911, when Rollo the Viking* and his band of sea-faring warriors sailed south in search of riches to plunder and lands to settle. When they reached northern France they fought with the French but eventually signed a treaty with French King, Charles 'the Simple' (Karolus Simplex actually translates from the Latin as ‘straightforward’) offering lands around Rouen for an oath of allegiance. And so it was that the kingdom of the ‘North-men’, or Normans as history records them, was founded.

The historic city of Caen, Normandy1100 years later and the proud people of Normandy are celebrating the anniversary of the founding of the Duchy with a series of wide-ranging historical events throughout the year. Where better to enjoy the festivities than from one of our favourite country auberges – La Relais de la Poste – located in the picturesque hamlet of Thury-Harcourt, where the River Orne meanders through green rolling hills and wooded gorges.

Join in the celebrations, perhaps following in the footsteps of William the Conqueror: from a fabulous son et lumière show in the river port of St Pierre-sur-Dives from where his ‘armada’ set sail, to a medieval festival surrounding the world-famous Bayeux tapestry (bottom image) which illustrates his ‘Epic Adventure’. Check the calendar of events to see what’s on, where and when - many are within an easy drive of your hotel. It’s just 18 miles to historic Caen (above), 35 miles to Bayeux and only 15 miles to the castle at Falaise, birthplace of William.

Relais de la Post, Thury Harcourt, NormandyAt the end of a day’s sightseeing or leisurely exploration, return to the welcoming Harau family’s homely inn (left), for another tasty dinner of traditional home-cooking. Alternatively, this delightful hotel could be the start of a pleasant 3-day walk through the Heart of Normandy, leading you through some of the most dramatic and timeless scenery of northern France. While we carry your bags to the next hotel, you simply enjoy the walk, strolling from one pretty hamlet of half-timbered houses to the next, until reaching your destination at Pont d’Ouilly.

The histories of England (UK) and Normandy (France) have been linked for over 1000 years, so let's raise a glass of Calvados (the local brew) and a cheer towards our neighbours across the Channel.

Read more in Michael White’s fascinating article in last Saturday’s Daily Telegraph.

*PS: Rollo is the great-great-great-grandfather of William the Conqueror and, therefore, he’s a long distant ancestor of Prince William, in line to become King William V of England, etc, etc, when he succeeds his father.

Posted: 10/05/2011 16:42:00 by | with 0 comments
Filed under: France, gastronomy, heritage

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