come across ‘Monsieur Hulot’ phut phutting along in his vintage Citreon van; a pale green sardine can on bicycle wheels emitting noxious fumes. He was, however, most definitely in the minority and got short shrift from the other road abusers.
Road abusers apart, first impressions of rural Normandy were that it is undoubtedly beautiful and not entirely unfamiliar. Along the winding roads unadulterated villages appeared like a string of unevenly spaced pearls clinging to impossibly narrow roads. The creamy stone buildings of the hamlets en route to Erne, reassuringly sturdy, timeless and apparently unpopulated, seemed a million miles away from the stark industrial and retail developments hanging on the shirt tails of Caen.