The landscape of the Normandy countryside is that of the mixed woodland and pasture, with fields and winding country lanes sunken between narrow ridges and thick hedgerows.
During the D-Day Landing, this natural barrier (also known as the bocage) caused heavy casualties and much grief to the allied forces marching inland.
A Mistletoe is a parasitic plant attached to the branches of a tree or a shrub absorbing water and nutrients from its host plant.
Driving the Brittany and Normandy countryside, we frequently encounter mistletoes perched on high trees. My friend Johanna referred to them as the “ball trees”.
I took a picture of this sign because of the mouthwatering sausages depicted there. Later I discovered that they are the Andouille sausages of Vire, traditionally prepared with pork intestines (stomach, small intestine and bowel). The cravings stopped there.
Pays d’Auge is cheese and calvados country.
Here, you can visit a working farm, enjoy a tasting of local cider or calvados;
and check out colorful half-timbered houses dotting its main drag.
Come springtime, apple blossoms decorate the landscape
sometimes in front of a half-timbered house.
More half-timbered houses can be found in the town of Pont-l’Évêque
Named after its famous square shaped cheese (or vice versa).
Here we stopped by a grocery store, feeling obliged (being that we come from the biggest apple growing region in the US) to study French apple varietals.
And other local specialties such as this selection of duck terrines with calvados or cheese of the region (Camembert, Pont-l’Évêque or Livarot – named after each namesake town in the Pays d’Auge – with the last being the most pungent).
Of course there is the shelf of local ciders and calvados.
Overall, we found Pont-l’Évêque cute and lively.
But our destination lies twenty minutes away in the seaside town of Honfleur.
Until next time…