CHANNEL IN VIEW!
The steep beach of Arromanches-les-Bains offers us an
unbeatable perspective of the English Channel, a sea that is part of the
Atlantic Ocean and is well known to all. Seeing this beach, now so peaceful, it
is hard to believe that it witnessed, in its day, the largest military landing
in memory, the historic Normandy Landing, in which a huge number of troops and
ships arrived in France from England crossing this strip of the sea that
separates both countries.
Precisely, this sea serves as a natural border between
France and England, countries that are separated by about 200 kilometers in the
widest part of the channel, in clear contrast to the 30 kilometers in its
narrowest part. The Mancha Channel is also known by the English as "the
English Channel", since they also consider it theirs. This channel is what
keeps the English detached from the European continent, to which it seems they
do not want to belong, reaffirmed by popular will with their
From the privileged position provided by the
Arromanches-les-Bains viewpoint, we can discover the breadth of its beaches.
The speed of its tide is so fast that it is always better not to leave our
clothes near the shore to take a bath… When we return, the high tide will have
washed them away!
Our panoramic point will offer us unbeatable views of
the small summer spa of Arromanches-les-Bains. This peaceful town has just five
hundred inhabitants who enjoy the peace that the place offers them. On the
contrary, in the middle of high season, this usual haven of peace becomes a
hive of tourists. Its big day is, of course, June 6th, the date that
commemorates the anniversary of the Normandy Landings. It is a huge party that
features a military parade in which proud uniformed veterans are displayed full
of decorations. In this military parade the famous jeeps are also shown and the
Scottish troops, dressed in their checkered skirts, parade to the sound of the
From this height, we will also be able to glimpse, in
the high seas and on the beach, the vestiges of the artificial port that the
English set up to supply war material to the battle front.
Point de vue d´Arromanches
10 Rue Lucien Joly
14117 Arromanches-les-Bains, France
A TRIPLE DELICATESSEN
In this area of ??France there are three highly
appreciated regional products throughout the country, tremendously different
from each other, but which, gastronomically, complement each other perfectly.
One of them is very dark, although it hides a colorful surprise on the inside,
another is very white, and to curl the curl, both are cooked with the third,
which is a liquid. Despite their differences, these three products form a
perfect pairing and create the most popular dish in the place.
You will be curious to know what this recipe is… We
are talking about the exquisite Moules au Camembert, a dish that sounds great
but tastes even better. It consists of a stew of tasty mussels with Camembert
cheese and cooked with cider. A delicious recipe thanks to its many different
Of the 1200 different types of cheeses that exist in
France, the one chosen for this recipe is the famous Normandy Camembert, known
worldwide for its smoothness and strong flavor. This cheese is made from the
milk of the cows that graze so richly on the Norman meadows, and undergoes a
maturation process of up to eight weeks. Normandy Camembert cheese bears the
AOC (Appeal of Controlled Origin) seal that certifies its quality of production
In the Moules au Camembert recipe, the cheese is
melted together with cooking cream and the mixture is seasoned with a little
pepper. The salt is reserved for ourselves, since the mussels will already
pot, the onions and shallots are browned, which are very sweet chives that make
a French contribution to the kitchen. In this same pot, place the mussels so
that they are cooked in cider, and as the mussels open, the Camembert is added,
which is already melted, in cream. Once all the mussels are open, parsley is
added to give the final touch. As an accompaniment, the dish is served with
frites, that is, with fried potatoes.
mussels are one of the most popular dishes in France, especially in the north
of the country, both Belgians and French people discuss the origin of their
gastronomic use. The debate is served! Of course, what does not admit any type
of discussion is the origin of the cider because Normandy is the first producer
of apples in France and has a Protected Geographical Indication.
THE GOLDEN ELIXIR
Norman meadows make up a very friendly picture that makes us enjoy the peaceful
dairy cows with their unmistakable cinnamon-colored masks, always grazing
surrounded by the omnipresent apple trees. Thanks to these fruit trees that are
part of the Norman landscape, between the end of September and the beginning of
November, more than two hundred different varieties of apple will be harvested.
Many of these
apple varieties are used to make liqueurs. Each producer decides his own ideal
combination for the creation of his brandy. Bitter apples provide freshness,
sweet apples provide the alcoholic degree, acidic ones give the essence and
bittersweets stabilize. The balance achieved in the selection of apples is what
will determine the identity of the most delicate cider liqueur in the world,
known as Calvados. Let´s see what is its production process!
To begin, the
selected pieces of fruit are placed in water so that they remain floating, thus
preventing them from deteriorating. They are then taken to the presser, where,
after crushing and pressing the apples, the juice will be separated from the
pulp. For every ton of apples, about 650 liters of cider are obtained. Once the
juice is obtained, the fermentation process begins in a stainless-steel tank
and lasts about 20 days, until it reaches about six degrees of alcohol. From
there, the double distillation begins in traditional stills, made of beautiful
copper that highlights its brilliance and originality. In the second
distillation, what is known as eau de vie, which is apple brandy, is finally
obtained. After a process of eight hours, from an initial 2,500 liters of
cider, about 400 liters of alcohol at 70 degrees will have been obtained.
brandy has been obtained and it is still transparent, the long aging process
begins in French oak barrels, which will give it its characteristic amber hue.
The time in the barrel will vary between two and six years. The smaller the
barrel, the faster the flavor and color change will occur. The reduction of alcohol
by evaporation and the addition of distilled water will soften the product up
to 40 degrees of alcohol. Finally, the miracle is achieved! Turn the apple into
a Calvados, a unique and incomparable spirit drink!
known as Calva, this liqueur is consumed as an aperitif alone or as an
accompaniment to cheeses and desserts. It is also ideal for flaming crepes and
cakes, delicacies that you can accompany with a coffee with a splash of
During your visit
to Arromanches-les-Bains, you can buy Calvados in drink shops or in any
THE BELOVED PATRON OF SAILORS
The village of Arromanches-les-Bains is located in a
small valley on the edge of the sea and its population is mainly dedicated to
the fishing industry. Thanks to the efforts made by the treasurer of the French
Archaeological Society based in this commune, a significant sum of money was
granted to the village by the government for the improvement of its small port,
and also for the replacement of its original parochial church, which ended up
being too small before the growth of the population as a spa. This is how it
was done ...
In this way, thanks to this economic contribution, the
beautiful church of San Pedro was built, which replaced the original Romanesque
parish. The new church was built in a successful modernist style that leads us
to think that the building is older than it really is, and its imposing tower
can make us believe that we are in a great metropolis, and not in a small
fishing village... A jewel that was not spared from the war. The spire that
tops the tower was hit by a projectile from the English navy that ended up
knocking it down ...
The great love that this fishing village professes for
the sea is very well reflected in the church of San Pedro… To begin with, a
beautiful Stella Maris presides over its portico. It is an impressive sculpture
that depicts Our Lady of the Seas standing out at the bow of a ship and invoked
by sailors to be their guide and protector. Inside the temple, there are also stained-glass
windows dedicated to the people of the sea and offered to the allied marines.
The church is dedicated to Saint Peter, patron saint
of fishermen and the first bishop of Rome and of the Catholic Church. Saint
Peter, before being an apostle, was a fisherman, just like James or his brother
John. All of them abandoned the noble art of fishing to become disciples of
Jesus. The Bible tells that Jesus was walking by the lake of Galilee, when he
saw two brothers throwing the net into the water. They were Simon (later known
as Peter) and Andrew. Then Jesus called them saying: "Follow me, and I
will make you fishers of men."
The coastal situation of Arromanches-les-Bains has
always created an indissoluble link between the population and the sea. Mainly
sole are fished from its shore, and mackerel, sea bream and sea bass can be
caught offshore. But with the advent of tourism, hard-working fishermen
realized that it was more lucrative to guie tourists than to fish… This is how
in Arromanches-les-Bains the fishermen´s barges have become the main tourist
attraction of the town during the summer season.
Saint-Pierre (Church of Saint Peter)
Place Général de Gaulle
14117 Arromanches-les-Bains, France
ALL AN ENGINEERING MASTERPIECE
On Arromanches-les-Bains beach you can see some
structures half buried in the sand, and many others that can be glimpsed at
sea. Observing their appearance, we cannot imagine what they were exactly. We
suppose everything was meant for the development and logistics of the great
landing. These unusual structures are the remains of a very important
artificial port. Currently, they are part of the coastal landscape of the area,
but back in their day, they were authentic works of hydraulic engineering!
To ensure the supply of the troops, it was necessary
to create a large port that would have a provisioning capacity suitable to
ensure the operation of the troops. The Norman coast near the landing lacked a
deep-water port and only had small ports for ships whose capacity was actually
very limited. It was of vital importance the existence of an infrastructure
that would allow to supply the troops to the front. To solve this problem, the
Allies brought their own port, although once transported, it had to be
Tens of thousands of workers worked for nine months in
the construction of the different components of the artificial port. The pieces
were built in Britain and towed across the English Channel to be assembled off
the coast. The port was made up of floating lanes and unloading platforms that
rose and fell depending on the tide. The anchorage consisted of huge hollow
concrete blocks, deposited on the seabed, within which a hydraulic system was
installed that allowed the horizontal movement of the fluctuating port.
Initially, two ports were built off the Norman coast,
although in the end only Arromanches was operational as the other was destroyed
in a storm. Today, some remains of this engineering masterpiece are still
visible, such as some fluctuating platforms that have been dragged to the shore
of the beach over the years, or like the large blocks that still remain anchored,
out to sea. ...
The artificial port of Arromanches-les-Bains was,
without a doubt, the key to the final victory of the allies, and it is that its
design and construction allowed thousands of tons of goods to be landed daily.
A VERY STRATEGIC CAPE
If we go along Arromanches beach along the Quai du
Général Leclerc and leaving the sea on our right, we will reach the final
section of the walk. If we continue walking a little more, we will see that the
road forces us to turn first to the left and then to the right, to end up in a
lane that ascends. Climbing this gentle slope, we will reach the crest of the
cliff! A small effort that has a great reward! In addition, we have to think
that ... it would have been very different to have climbed this cliff faced
vertically with its height of nearly twenty meters!
Once we have reached the top of this path, we will
only have to walk another fifteen minutes to reach Cape Manvieux, one of the
most outstanding points on the sea. This cape will allow us to contemplate a
breathtaking panorama over the immensity of the sea and admire the breadth of a
coast that seems to have no end. In addition, from this point, we can enjoy one
of the most genuine landscapes, not only in Normandy but in all of France… We
are talking about its famous Campagne, with its small plains full of crops and
green meadows. It is a natural landscape much loved by the French and from
which they obtain, with great care, many of their fresh products and the
occasional gastronomic delicacy, such as their famous Pâté de Campagne.
From our vantage point of Cape Manvieux, we will be
able to see, at both ends of the cape, two of the five beaches where the Normandy
Landing took place on June 6, 1944. We are faced with the scene of one of the
largest military operations in the history of Europe, an unprecedented feat
despite how tragic and painful it was for humanity. From a military point of
view, Operation Omaha with a US contingent took place on our left, and on our
right, behind the town of Arromanches, Operation Gold with a British
It was precisely on Omaha Beach, the one to the left of
Cap Manvieux, where the American troops lost their greatest number of men,
which is why it earned the nickname of Bloody Omaha. The name Omaha, chosen at
random to confuse Nazi espionage, corresponds to the city of Nebraska from
which one of the battalion commanders was originally. On the other hand, the
nickname of Gold comes from the diminutive of the fish Goldfish and was a name
chosen by the famous English general Montgomery.
THE LONGEST DAY!
In the early morning of June 6, 1944, the Allied
airborne divisions parachuted over the Normandy coast. In the morning, the bulk
of the Allied troops landed on the coasts, consisting of hundreds of thousands
of soldiers and supported by bombardments on the German coastal defense lines.
The fate of humanity was cast, there was no turning back ... The fate of the
world would depend on the success of this operation.
The liberation of western Europe was one of the most
decisive and ambitious military maneuvers in history and it all started on
these vast beaches that now open up before our eyes. The current spa, today a
haven of peace, was the scene of a gigantic military operation that was brewing
for years. The Germans had been betting heavily on the area of ??the canal that
was closest to England, considering that this would be the most likely place
for a landing by the Allies. Up to four possible points were considered by the
Allies for their raids, finally opting for Normandy, since this area allowed
easy access to the coasts of Brittany and a more direct advance on Paris and
Initially, the great landing was scheduled for June 2nd,
but the Allies needed a full moon to be able to parachute and cross the channel
with some light, and those circumstances were to occur between 5th
and 7th of that month. It was then set for day 5, but adverse
weather conditions finally postponed it until day 6.
The military maneuver heralded the beginning of the
decline of Nazi rule. The unstoppable advance of the Allied troops, despite a
fierce resistance from the German army, meant the liberation of the occupied
cities, yes, with its consequent collateral damage, such as the numerous
civilian casualties and the brutal destruction of buildings.
We can relive one of the most decisive episodes of
World War II by visiting the impressive Landing Musee du Debarquement, which is
the first museum created to commemorate the Battle of Normandy. We can even buy
a copy of the newspaper announcing the end of the war!
du 6 Juin 1944
14117 Arromanches-les-Bains, France
Entrance Fee - 8,20 €
A WALK TO THINK ...
Unfortunately, wars have always existed and will
exist. They are almost inherent to the human being, as if man carries the fight
in his genes… Furthermore, the art of war fascinates many, and even wars are
almost always an interesting topic to debate. How wonderful the world would be
without wars and have reigning peace!
But sadly, we cannot change history, so we have
prepared a short tour that will, at least, help us to mentalize and raise
awareness about the horrible consequences of war ... In a short walk of about
45 minutes in duration by the little Arromanches-les-Bains urban center, we
will discover part of the infrastructure and weapons used during the Normandy
Our tour begins at the Place du 6 Juin, a square in whose
corners have three antiaircraft batteries of different ranges installed and
made up of the most effective weapons that existed then against aviation. These
batteries include machine guns and cannons whose long range allowed the shooting
of aircraft in mid-flight. In this square there is also the Musee du
Debarquement, in which personal and assault weapons are preserved, although its
most fascinating piece is an authentic bomb dropped by bombers. On the side of
the museum, we will see a chain-drive vehicle, with its characteristic khaki
color and white five-pointed star, which was used by the American army. At the
back of the building, we will discover a piece of the great platform that
served for the vehicles to reach the beach from the floating port.
Going up rue Lucien Joly, we will find that, right at
its first curve, a battle tank used by the French army stands out. It is the
Sherman model, which was the most used by the Allied forces. Its low costs and
the ease of its production allowed a great availability of units in a short
time. It was used, practically, in all the wars of the second half of the 20th
Already going down to the beach from this same square,
we will discover that there is still a strip of the Atlantic Wall, which was a
great fortified wall, as a containment, that the Germans built along the coasts
of France to stop the possible advance of the Allies.
A VERY THERAPEUTIC PAUSE
In the entire town of Arromanches-les-Bains
you can breathe the sea, since the sea air permeates the entire town and
filters through every corner of its streets. Even the sea is present in its
name… “Arromanches-los-Baños”. Sea baths, of course!
A breath of renewed air, the breeze caressing our face,
the swaying of the waves, the sound of the tide, a comforting sun ... There is
nothing more pleasant than sitting in front of the grandeur of the sea to
relax, to open our minds ... definitively to dream about.
The numerous beneficial effects that the sea
contributes to our health are more than demonstrated, mainly for its minerals,
so necessary for the proper functioning of our metabolism. Calcium is a very
good anticoagulant, sulfur acts against rheumatism, magical iodine is a
powerful skin disinfectant, potassium manages to maintain heart and muscle
tone… and so on up to 75 elements!
But, above all, being near the sea helps us to
generate serotonin, a neurotransmitter that increases the feeling of
well-being. The rougher the sea is, the greater that sensation will be, and the
closer we are to sea level, the greater the amount of oxygen destined to
produce a sedative action and slow down our respiratory rhythm, benefiting our
heart, which is what keeps us alive ... There a reason that so many people
always choose the sea as their vacation destination ...
While we recover physically and emotionally looking at
the sea, we will be able to observe the two authentic symbols of the town: the
Memorial to the British Engineers and the statue of the Virgin Mary. The first
pays tribute to the British engineers who set up the artificial port just after
the great landing. It was an assembly of platforms that formed a semicircle of
a length of about seven kilometers and that rested on some reinforced concrete
blocks that had the height of a six-story building. The blocks were hollow,
filled with water, and inside there was a kind of shock absorber that allowed
the platforms to float with the ebb and flow of the tide. Imagine all it took
to bring this entire structure across the English Channel and then assemble it!
The second symbol is a superlative effigy of the
Virgin Mary that rests on an imposing pedestal. The size of this sculpture is
proportional to the great devotion and enormous faith that the fishermen
profess to Mary, and with this monument they want to thank her for her
protection and the fact that she always guides them in the mist, pointing them
the way to the port.
D-Day 75 Garden
Rue du Calvaire
Wellcome to Europamundo Vacations, your in the international site of:
Bienvenido a Europamundo Vacaciones, está usted en el sitio internacional de: