D-Day Beaches, Normandy

9wgo3k8Gold Beach (UK / Canada)

f8ghkbtLow tide

c03gzwjBritish kids on a field trip

dzod01oOne of the two machine guns on the Higgins boat

zizdtnsThe Higgins Landing Boat at Utah Beach (donated by the Higgins family)

vmqasd7Utah Beach

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One minute, don’t talk, don’t read, no photos…. Just look  and feel

Château-Guillaume

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Jeanne d’Arc has never been here. However, there is a link. Château-Guillaume is said to have been founded by Guillaume X, duke of Aquitaine, father of Alienor of Aquitaine (1137-1152).

The legend says that Alienor was born right here,  at Château-Guillaume.

It is her marriage to  Henry, Count of Anjou and Duke of Normandy that gave roots to the 100 Years War.

Two years after the wedding Henry and Alienor were crowned as King and Queen of England.

Alienor was also a Queen of France. It was a legal ground for the English to claim France as its domain. (The claim was legally dismissed only in 1789 after the French Revolution abolished the monarchy.)

Meanwhile, the 100 Years’ War was in full swing when Jeanne was born in 1412. By 1428 France had lost half of its territory and, aside from Scotland, had no allies.  The situation was desperate when, at 13, she started hearing her “voix”.

At 16, following the call, she left her home in Domremy and crossed France to meet Dophin Charles at Chinon. The rest is history.

When the English burned her in Rouen she was still a teenager.

2017: Following Jeanne d’Arc with 1885 maps

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This map is a lucky find of mine, from the 1885 book En suivant Jeanne d’Arc sur les chemins de France. It was shipped to me from Lorient Bretagne of all places (a separate story!)04_zpsbxyrdwts

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The maps, with some deviations, follow the same routes as  described by Frances Caddy who travelled them personally on foot and by bicycle the next year, 1886. Her very-well documented account was published in London under the title Footsteps of Jeanne d’Arc: A Pilgrimage.

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The print quality is very good.

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It is fairly easy to transfer the routes into Google maps and Garmin. The job, however,  is daunting when it comes to actually following them on a bicycle.