Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Getting stoked about France

So I've been planning a trip to France since about January. Really started the planning in late March and early April. I've been very lucky that I have an opportunity to visit France on a business trip. That business trip will take me to Paris (2 days) and to my company's Research and Development center in Clermont-Ferrand (3 days). Of course, I'm pretty excited about being able to meet with my European counterparts. There is a lot to be gained in a face to face meeting. However, this blog is not about my work life, it is about my personal life. To that end, the more interesting part of the trip is going to be the 2 weeks of vacation I'll take while I'm over there.

Saturday the 19th I'll be arriving in Caen to spend several days in the Normandy region. This is going to be a very powerful part of my trip. I will visit the historic sites in that region with a concentration on world war II. I recently read a book by Stephen Ambrose called 'Pegasus Bridge'. A great story about the first Allied troops to set foot in France in the very early morning of 6 june, 1944. This will be a site on my itinerary. The other site that I will not miss will be Pointe du Hoc.

Pointe du Hoc is the cliffs up which the Rangers of the 2nd Battalion climbed. The 2nd Battalion is the unit I served with in the mid-'80s and I heard about Pointe du Hoc, but didn't really fully understand the significance of the place. After reading a number of books and articles on it, I am almost afraid of going there for the emotions it might bring to the surface. Thankfully, I got way past the fear of openly showing emotions when I did the Challenge to Conquer Cancer last year.

After 3 days in Normandy, I will spend a full day traveling from Caen to Bourg d'Oisans where I will spend 7 days and 8 nights. The plan is to ride a bunch of kilometers on a bike I will rent from a local bike shop. I've found a great little B&B at which I'll stay for the entire time. It is quite cool because the proprietors are cyclists and skiers. Although I've purchased some regional maps, they'll know a bunch of roads and routes that I might never think about riding!

So, the plan for each day in les Alpes is to get some kilometers on the bike, then take my laptop to a local cafe or bar and sit down to download photos and update my blog. I'm really looking forward to this trip!

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