The village of Barfleur is classified as one of the “plus beaux villages de France“ (most beautiful villages of France) but I am sad to admit that my pictures may not reflect it. I didn’t know Barfleur had plus beau village status until today, therefore I ended up not taking many pictures in the village when I visited in August. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Does that mean you don’t think Barfleur deserves its plus beau village de France title?”
Not at all! In fact, I thought Barfleur was a delightful little village. Its harbor and its little church were positively adorable. However, it was cloudy and drizzling that day. My woefully inadequate camera resulted in me taking blurry, out of focus pictures (remember, my camera is allergic to dim lighting) so I ended up giving up trying to photograph the waterfront. So these first few pictures are actually ones I found on Google Images, to prove that Barfleur really is a charming seaside village and not a gray and blurry mess:
(Photo Credits from left to right: 1. voyagoo.fr, 2. johnandkathy5 on Tripadvisor, 3. ISO 8510 on Panoramio.com, 4. gitedugroschene.com. If I have the credits wrong, please let me know!)
Barfleur is located on the opposite eastern tip of the Cotentin peninsula from Auderville (which is on the western tip). Barfleur’s harbor has existed at least since the 10th or 11th century, back when the English were still trying to figure out whether they could get away with conquering some of France (spoiler alert: that didn’t work out well for them in the long run). Though Barfleur is miniscule and there are only about 650 inhabitants, it has a fairly active fishing community and is famous for its mussels. The houses facing the harbor are made of granite and are “somber and homogeneous looking” according to Barfleur’s official website.
As you can see above, the statue of the soldier right outside the church is another World War I and World War II memorial. Right underneath the statue’s feet, you can see the list of names of those that died in both wars. As for the cross sitting out overlooking the harbor–I don’t think it is a war memorial like the one I saw in Auderville. I’m not sure why it is there–maybe the Lord welcoming sailors back into the harbor after another dangerous day out at sea?
Here are a few pictures in and around the church. It is very blurry, but there was a model sailboat hanging from the ceiling right above the altar. I guess it is a way of tying the village’s maritime history with its religious history.
If you would like to see some beautiful and amazing pictures of Barfleur (I was seriously blown away but I couldn’t save them to my computer and share them here directly because they are copyright protected), please click here.
And here are some pictures of our gite (bed and breakfast) we stayed at in Valognes. I was rather surprised to see a palm tree (actually that might not be a palm tree but it looks tropical) in the B&B owner’s yard! Couldn’t complain about the accommodations too much, it kind of made me feel like I was living in another era! I am only sorry we never got to take a walk around the B&B grounds. The owner told us there were some walking trails available but it mostly rained while we stayed there and I ended up feeling a little under the weather so we never ventured past the building.
Again I apologize for the quality of the pictures. Now that I have a job, I will be saving up for a nicer camera!