Normandy: Spiritual France


The cloister at Caen’s Abbaye des Hommes, now the town hall 

I am approaching the end of a week traveling with Leah from Leah travels, Arturo our chauffeur from MY Paris VIP and Beth Levin from the France Tripism office in NY (Atout France) on a #SpiritualFrance journey.

Blue stained glass a thing of beauty at the Basilica of Pontmain 

What is spiritual France? If you’ve been following gg2p on social media you’ll have a pretty good idea. Yes its Cathedrals and Basilicas, oodles of stained glass and Abbayes. Buts it’s also an apparition seen by a group of six children, being inspired by a nun (a first for me) and a priest, twice! Light as it streamed in through stained glass windows 500 years old, William the Conquerer’s grave and a young nun, later saint, who said simply, God is good. 

Abbaye des Hommes, Caen 

Mondaye Abbaye 

Lucerne Abbaye 

Normandy was our headquarters. We started out in Caen near the sea and visited three separate Abbayes, each unique. We went behind the scenes at a monastery into their private library and their vestiare (where the robes and chalice are kept) we ate and drank and ate and drank some more. And as it happens with gals you are traveling with….we got to know each other and laughed and drank and ate some more. 

Lunch in a castle with mother and daughter. 

All along we tweeted and instagrammed and tweeted again. Facebook never left our side. Each day brought new hosts and new guides and new tripism professionals, each with knowledge and gifts to impart. 

What am I left with? More photos than I’ve ever taken, save my son’s graduation. A newfound understanding for lace from Alençon, a profound appreciation of the beauty of stained glass.

The children who saw the apparition of the Virgin at Pontmain 

A belief in some children who saw an apparition of the Virgin Mary in Pontmain, France. And best of all, the sense that priests and nuns are actually pretty normal people.

Half timbered homes you see a lot of in Normandy 

Alençon lace 

Oh and Normandy really knows how to do fromage, cidre (alcoholic cider), lace, abbayes, and stained glass. I’ve tasted all she has to offer and I say to you one thing quite simply…..just do it.

Open the door to Normandy. 

*Note our #SpiritualFrance journey was organized by Atout France, a division of the France Tripism board. Special thanks to all of our hosts, my travel companions and French history for its awe-inspiring beauty. 

Caen Tripism
Normandy Abbayes Tripisme
Abbaye des Hommes, Caen
Abbaye de Mondaye
Le Logis de Equilly (Chambre d’Hote & Table d’Hote in an 11th century mini-palace)
Abbaye Lucerne
Alençon Tripisme Dept.
Saint Therése Birthplace
Musée Beaux Art Dentelle (lace)
Rive Droit Restaurant
Basilica of Pontmain
Centre d’Art Contemporain
Mont St. Michel