On this February morning, warmly dressed and shod, we meet near the church in Basly.
We are ready, come with us!
I raise my head and I instantly plunge into the past when I see the barely erased inscription near the chimney of this old house “1907 – Ecole communale”. This square, which is so quiet today, must have heard a lot of cavalcades and cries of joy from children in short pants!
We start off on a farm track. In winter, there are no high crops and I can see the “Great German Radar” in the distance on my right.
The iodine air is so invigorating! The sea is very close, only 2km as the crow flies.
We reach the village of Bény-sur-Mer and go to the church. Let’s push together the big gate of the cemetery to have a closer look at this old well. If, like me, you are fond of legends, your curiosity will be piqued.
This well is said to have been condemned because the water had been poisoned by a witch or an evil being.
In fact, the hypothesis today is that the well was polluted by the neighbouring tombs.
But I prefer the story of the witch!
We reach the old village of Bény with its pretty old houses made of Caen stone, spared by the bombing of June 6th. I take a picture of the pretty virgin well sheltered in her niche who, with her benevolent look, seems to watch over the passers-by.
I like this tiny alleyway we are walking down. I imagine that the gardens hidden behind its high walls could tell us many beautiful stories.
Two beautiful castles, one of them with a dovecote dating from 1688, border the street of Braqueville.
We leave the village, and there are only fields as far as the eye can see, a monotony broken by an isolated farm in a hamlet.
Still walking briskly, we are in a good mood this morning. It’s so good to be away from our offices!
I ask to turn into the first path on the left because I know that at the end of this one is the lady of Bracqueville that I absolutely want to greet.
Stop at the standing stone…
This menhir looks like the silhouette of a young woman covered with a long veil on full moon nights. The necessary introductions are made, we turn back and approach a wood that we cross.
It seems, but don’t tell anyone, that in spring hundreds of daffodils cover the ground. I feel rejuvenated and promise myself to come back with my family.
I show my colleagues here and there traces of wild animals: wild boar, roe deer. I think that, although we seem to be alone on these undergrowth or country paths, we are probably being observed by a myriad of curious little eyes.
As we go along, the sound of running water becomes more and more noticeable.
A fresh smell invades me. We have reached the meanders of the Mue, which meanders on our right, while on our left the entrance to caves in the limestone surprises me. These are old stone quarries that were once used as mushroom beds.
Castle in sight!
The wood is getting lighter and the majestic roofs of the Fontaine-Henry castle are in sight.
I am delighted to discover this hidden side because like many people I only knew its façade.
We decide to walk a little further to reach a jewel of the 10th century, hidden in its green setting, the small church of Saint Pierre de Thaon. A few extra efforts that are really worth the diversions (3km AR).
Alone in the world, it is the perfect place to refresh and take some vitamins before continuing towards the end of our journey.
The return to Basly is a little slower after these 3 hours of hiking.
But what good moments shared and memories in perspective!