The weekend was a lovely sunny one, and we finally managed to get a trip in to some of the local sites with our neighbours Nelly and Rollande, who split their time between here and Paris. Their house is Rollande's family home, and they spent four years renovating it after he inherited it from his parents. They don't speak English, so a pair of Brit neighbours with dodgy French can't be the easiest to be friends with but they seem to have taken us completely under their wing. Rollande and his family lived in our house during the war, when the Germans took over his and it became a hospital for German soldiers, so I think that they are just pleased that someone has taken the house on, to love it and restore it.
Here at Le Meslier we are about 800 feet above sea level, so we are privileged with some stunning views and Nelly and Rollande have been trying to take us to some of the local beauty spots for a couple of weeks, but really needed a clear day. Sunday was that day. It started dull and there were some spots of rain in the morning but Rollande was convinced that it would clear up and he was right.
We started at La Grande Cascade, in the neighbouring town of Mortain and walked down the valley to La Petite Cascade at the bottom. You cannot see any of this from the road, and if it wasn't for the brown tourist signs we wouldn't have know they were there.
|The start of La Grande Cascade|
|There are no barriers here....Health and Safety|
would have a field day!
|This is the Laundry where the local women|
used to wash the clothes
|Bottom of La Grande Cascade, a short walk|
on the flat now before the next decent.
|The start of La Petite Cascade|
|Just to the right, this chap wants the quick way|
down. Rather him than me!
|Pretty blurred but this tower of granite|
stands independently and once had granite
steps going around.
|La Petite Chappelle.|
These are young trees as during the war the
area the woodland was cleared to aid the Germans
|Hill 314. |
Very important, whoever controlled this hill,
controlled the valley.
|This tell the story better than I ever could.|
|"In hommage to the soldiers of the 35th Infantry Division|
'Santa Fe', which from the 10th to 13th August 1944
managed to free the survivors of the 'lost batallion'
at the cost of heavy losses.
|Memorial to the American Fallen|
|Max with Nelly and Rollande at the viewing point.|
|Trust me, that very tiny smudgy triangle in the distance...|
is Mont St Michel!
A glorious afternoon was finished off in typical French style with a glass of chilled pear cider.