Rather than take my usual Newhaven – Dieppe ferry across the Channel when heading south or west wards, I decided to save myself 138 miles by crossing from Portsmouth to Le Havre. To set against the fuel saving was an increase in the fare. Driving east out of Le Havre along the Boulevard de Leningrad there isn’t a petrol station, one has to search if needing fuel.I had been on an overnight crossing and so hadn’t had a decent sleep. Before heading west along the coast I made a slight diversion to Saint-Romain-de-Colbosc where there is a Carrefour supermarket with petrol station although my main reason for visiting was to use the aire de camping cars. All the places being occupied I wasn’t able to park up and catch up on my sleep although I did take the chance to empty the toilet cassette and top up with fresh water.
An “aire de camping cars” is a parking area specifically for motorhomes, usually abbreviated by the British to “aires” although there is more than one type of “aires”, motorway service stations are “Aire de Service d’Autoroute” (“camping car” is what the French call a motorhome). In addition to parking there is usually facilities for emptying grey, toilet and solid waste and topping up fresh water. Some are free, some make a small charge for fresh water and some have electricity hook up.
I did stop for some sleep on the aires at Isigny-sur-Mer before carrying on to my destination at Ravenoville.
Ravenoville is a village of two parts, the main village, Ravenoville-Bourg, is about two miles from the beach, Ravenoville-Plage.
In 1944 this was designated as “Utah Beach” for the Allied invasion of German occupied Europe known as Operation Overlord which took place on D-Day, 6th June 1944.
US 377th Parachute Field Artillery Battalion, 101st Airborne Division
US 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
US 502nd Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
US 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division
US 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division
US 22nd Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division
US 39th Infantry Regiment, 9th Infantry Division
Germany I/Grenadier-Regiment 919, 709. Infanterie Division
During on line discussions the question of the invasion of 1066 has come up. When I’ve been less than kind about the invaders, one of the contributors has helpfully pointed out that my surname is of Norman origin. The said family settling in Cornwall with one of the waves of immigrants that followed the invasion.
The commune from which they are said to have originated is Saint-Vigor-des-Monts. The village of that name is very small, a few houses surrounding an impressive church.