Love the Place You Live: Mont Ormel

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. : )
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!

27 thoughts on “Love the Place You Live: Mont Ormel”

  1. 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.

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

    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.

  4. 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 :)

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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!

  7. 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~

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ( 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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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