28 Sept 2017 | Rochester, NY
In May of 2015, I had the opportunity to study World War I on the Western Front and in London. Prior to the trip, I took some time with my grandfather to drive around France, picking a new destination from the map each day. These photos document some of this time and what I learned.
After landing at Charles de Gaul Airport, Papa and I immediately drove north, outside of Paris. Although we hadn't planned our trip entirely, we knew that our focus would be in Normandy and didn't want to get caught in Paris traffic. That city may be a destination for me one day, if I'm lucky.
This photo was taken from a pizza place where we first stopped to eat. It looks like the place is now called Royal Sandwich, but I don't think it was when we visited.
The yellow trim and lettering on this building across the street is what led me to take this photograph. The French reads "Architectural Workshop". For me, the image calls to mind the beauty of retrofitted buildings throughout northern France.
On our second full day in Normandy, we visited Mont St. Michel. The island, overflowing with buildings both sacred and commercial, is fully surrounded by water at high tide. Formerly, this limited its accessibility to boats for a time each day. Today, it is a popular tourist location, easily visited by taking a shuttle across a bridge.
Though much of the island is commercial, the treatment is more reverent than what is often seen in American tourist destinations. There is a majesty about the place that is not diminished by the restaurants at its base. At the top of the steeple, the highest point on the island, there is a gold statue of the archangel Michael. This is a tribute to the origin of the church, founded by Aubert of Avranches on the supposed instruction by Michael in 708.
These fish caught my eye while we were crossing the bridge to the island. They were temporarily stranded in this pool of water until high tide.