Love the Place You Live: Mont Ormel

February 27, 2012


Okay you guys! You ready for my first Love the Place You Live report? Don’t laugh, but my explorations this weekend had a glitch: my camera was out of batteries. Hah! So instead, I decided to write about a local outing we made a couple of months ago to a place called Mont Ormel.

One unexpected side effect of moving to Normandy, is that we suddenly became very interested in World War II. There are signs of it everywhere, and there are plenty of local residents who were teenagers at the time and remember it well. So we’ve done our best to read up about it — at least, all the parts that have to do with this region.

Which brings me to Mont Ormel. Have you ever heard of it? I hadn’t. But if you’re a World War II buff, you probably have. A really decisive battle happened at Mont Ormel. Sometimes it’s called the Battle of Normandy, or the battle of the Argentan-Falaise Gap. It was the final battle before the Allied troops freed Paris. Kind of big deal! But it’s something only the locals really seem to know about, because the D-Day Beaches are the main destination for tourists who are interested in World War II. (And the D-Day Beaches are amazing too!)

Pretty much any drive through Normandy involves gorgeous views. In fact, one of the family jokes is that Ben Blair will say in a commanding voice: Behold: Normandy! whenever a particularly beautiful vista appears — and sometimes he says it like 15 different times on the same drive. It’s just really, really pretty here. But the views from Mont Ormel might be my favorite.

It was so hard to imagine a battle happening in such a serene place. It broke my heart thinking about it! If you ever get a chance to visit, there is a small visitor center with a well done movie — and it’s offered in both French and English. But even if the visitor center was closed, this is a great destination for a Sunday drive. Beautiful views and paths for taking a nice long walk.

I’ve got more images after the jump — and I’ve added a link-up widget at the bottom of the post. Feel free to add the url of your own Love the Place You Live report. I can’t wait to see what you found!






P.S. — The next Love the Place You Live post will be Monday, March 19th. I hope you’ll plan on doing something local between now and then and reporting on it that day. I’ll try to remind everyone a few days before. : )
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Adding your link is super easy! Click the “Add Your Link” button. Copy in the url of your blog post. Name your link anything you like. I named mine “Gabrielle – Design Mom: Mont Ormel” as an example. Then add your email address (it won’t be visible, but you’ll get a confirmation email that your link was added successfully). And that’s it!



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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ris February 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

Gabby this is a great idea for a series! I’m new to the area and exploring Pittsburgh like a tourist is making the transition bearable. It’s one of my new years resolutions! Here’s a link to my first post about Pittsburgh: http://missris.blogspot.com/2012/02/give-pittsburgh-chance-raccoon-creek.html

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2 Grace @ Sense and Simplicity February 27, 2012 at 7:13 am

We didn’t see Mount Ormel when we were in Normandy this past summer, but I have to agree it is gorgeous. I loved your idea for a Love Where You Live post so I did one for a place near Toronto, Ontario where I live, which you can see here: http://gracie-senseandsimplicity.blogspot.com/2012/02/love-place-you-live-mcmichael-gallery.html.

Thanks for the inspiration!

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3 Giulia February 27, 2012 at 7:23 am

I have never been to Normandy, but it’s on my long list of things to visit.
I am adding a link to Parc Omega which we visited again yesterday. The post is from last Fall, but we loved it so much we went back to see the wild animals – this time we got to witness two male Bison fighting it out. Amazing to see the power of these 1500 lbs animals – we are assuming that they are getting ready for Spring mating.
http://www.fishlynews.com/2011/09/parc-omega.html

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4 Christi February 27, 2012 at 7:30 am

What a wonderful idea! I can’t wait to share next time! As always, love the pictures of you and your family :)

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5 Sandra February 27, 2012 at 7:33 am

My fave place is in Vancouver…

http://www.raincoastcottage.com/weblog/2012/2/27/loving-the-place-I-live-Vancouver.html

Grace-the McMichael is lovely! And Gabby, I have wanted to travel to Normandy for years. We had a cottage booked one year but unfortunately had to cancel. Soon, I hope…

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6 Dee February 27, 2012 at 7:45 am

How incredibly beautiful! Mine is also a beautiful place of historical significance: http://treesalldance.com/2012/02/27/love-the-place-you-live/

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7 Patricia February 27, 2012 at 7:58 am

what a gorgeous looking place, you are lucky to be roaming this side of history and involving your family with it. What a great history lesson, to actually live nearby a place like this one. Your kids are getting front seat VIP treatment to history and humanity! Salut!

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8 Jen Hansard February 27, 2012 at 8:00 am

The lighting on the picture of you and your husband is amazing! So romantic— I love it and that you were all able to share this day as a family.

We went to a Strawberry Farm here in Florida and had some incredible Strawberry Shortcake and milkshakes.

Adventures like this help me get out of the moving blues.
http://familysponge.com/family-activities/strawberry-heaven/

Can’t wait to read all the entries and see if there are any near me that I can explore next weekend! Thanks Gabrielle for creating such a fun post.

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9 Sue February 27, 2012 at 8:17 am

Montreal is a great city with so many things to see and do. But my Love the Place You Live post describes a small, very local area, a Hydro Quebec access road where I often walk my dog.
http://ohmontreal.com/2011/07/20/italian-gardens/
Often the greatest finds are literally in your own back yard.

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10 Stephanie February 27, 2012 at 8:32 am

Great series! Gabby, your family is so effortlessly chic and it’s obvious you all are enjoying your time in France. Jen, those lucious strawberries make me anxious for spring and summer. I have absolutely nothing recent to report, unless a trip to Home Depot in a new part of town counts, but I LOVE my little slice of South Philly. I hope to contribute next time around :)

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11 Jen Hansard February 27, 2012 at 10:59 am

Thanks Stephanie. Guess that is one of the perks to living in Florida— we get some incredible produce. Hope spring comes soon to Philly!

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12 Ann February 27, 2012 at 8:43 am

I love long deep vistas like that and I love discovering a new interest! Beautiful place and beautiful lady! I’ll be back with my link! & thanks for the link-up I love them!!!

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13 se7en February 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

You have just got the cutest kids… Would so love to visit the place you live!!!

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14 Kacy Faulconer February 27, 2012 at 9:27 am

I love that picture of you and Ben. It is v. cute.

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15 teresa February 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

Stunning views- great idea for a post- I may need to join in.
Love the expressions on your children’s faces.

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16 The New Diplomats Wife February 27, 2012 at 10:41 am

totally pumped about this series and have been taking a similar approach to life back in the US in terms of appreciating what’s just around…and i happen to know this place – my year abroad in high school was in falaise!

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17 Sandra February 27, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Wasn’t Falaise the name of the wife of William the Conqueror (or in France, Guillaume le Conquerant)? I would love to visit…

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18 Aryn February 27, 2012 at 11:00 am

Aww, June’s little red suit is too cute!

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19 April Heather Davulcu February 27, 2012 at 11:11 am

LOVE it!! Such a great series! I’ve been on a journey of learning to love where we live for some time now. And I really do love it! We just visited the beautiful Longwood Gardens about an hour from where we live-it was so fun and just what we all needed. Love reading Design Mom~

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20 Charissa February 27, 2012 at 11:56 am

Wow! That does look amazing. How neat to get to learn about all the WWII history while you’re there.

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21 Miranda February 27, 2012 at 12:24 pm

Does 3 hours away count as local?

We’re originally from the west, and living in the DC area has spoiled us with so many fun cities near by! From New York to North Carolina all sort of feel like home these days-and we’re trying to take advantage before we head back closer to family in the next few years.

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22 Cecilia Madden February 27, 2012 at 1:03 pm

those views do look amazing. how beautiful. what a way to reflect and enjoy the present.

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23 Angela February 27, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Sounds wonderful and it is beautiful. Thanks for the mini tour! :)

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24 jessie scanlon February 27, 2012 at 2:28 pm

What a wonderful post. It reminds me of a year that my family spent in England when I was 10. My mother organized regular weekend outings — to see the stone circle in Avebury (similar to Stonehenge) and the amazing Veil of the White Horse (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:White_horse_from_air.jpg) and so many castles I can’t remember them all. But being surrounded by so many intriguing artifacts inspired me to read various books about the history of England. Thanks for reminding me of that time in my life.

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25 Samantha February 28, 2012 at 4:15 am

What a beautiful part of the world. Thank you for sharing. We travelled through the battlefields of Flanders, but didn’t quite make it to Normandy. I’ve added a link to my part of the world. Hope you enjoy it as much as I have yours.

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26 Petites Merveilles February 29, 2012 at 2:33 pm

Hello, this is a really great idea! What fun to discover so many different places!

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27 Hope May 6, 2012 at 8:28 am

I’ve just discovered this blog while googling Mont-Ormel. We actually sought it out on our visit to Normandy, because my FIL was shot down over the Falais Gap in the war and barely lived to tell the tale. When we arrived at Mont-Ormel, the entire valley was shrouded in fog, and we couldn’t see two feet in front of our noses. After a personally guided tour of the museum by a lovely young French girl, we came back out to such an amazing view it was hard to imagine what happened there in WWII. I LOVE your pictures and look forward to reading more of this blog.

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