The Village of Tocqueville: Final Resting Place for Alexis de Tocqueville

The little village of Tocqueville (population: about 280) has erected a bust for the French diplomat, political scientist, and historian, Alexis de Tocqueville. Tocqueville himself was born in Paris, attended school in Metz, died in Cannes, and is buried in Tocqueville.

He is best known for his works ‘Democracy in America’ and ‘The Old Regime and the Revolution’.

Bust of Alexis de Tocqueville

This is the church and cemetery where he is buried.

Tocqueville Church

We combed the hole cemetery for his grave, and initially could not find it. With the help of a sight-map in the church, we finally located the grave next to one of the side entrances.

Alexis de Tocqueville grave

One of the many mosaic windows in the Tocqueville Church.

The Village of Saint-Pierre-Église in Normandy

The town of Saint-Pierre-Église is still decked out for festivities held on D-Day, and more events will take place this year .

School was still in session in early July 2019. This photo shows students at recess in the schoolyard.

The area around this lighthouse, one of many in Manche, was covered by these low-growing colorful shrubs. Heaths like this are generally found in higher elevations.

Lighthouse

What you definitely should not do is to assume a fricassee (a dish of stewed or fried pieces of meat served in a thick white sauce) in your home country is the same as in France. This fricassée de coques au lard was a salad with shellfish and bacon strips. It was fairly good, but not what I had been looking forward to.

Going to Barfleur, Normandy for the Sea Climate, and Sea Food

What attracted me first to Normandy was its summer climate. The forecast for July promised 17-19°C on most days. I claim any temperature past 23°C to be a total waste on me.

After an 11-hour drive from Oberursel near Frankfurt, passing the periphery of Paris in 42°C (108F) weather, we finally arrived. The French are knows for having late dinners, but just like last year in Cancale, we had to look around a bit to find an open restaurant at 9pm.

As usual, we rent a vacation home for privacy. I don’t like hotels, and I don’t care how many stars they have. I want space and time to visit myself. Our rental sat on the main road in Barfleur, but sat back a bit, so it was perfect. This view from the house shows some part of the outdoor seating possibilities. Every morning, I got to watch the sun rise sitting in that spot.

Vacation rental in Barfleur
Barfleur on a summer evening

There weren’t as many tourists as in Cancale last summer, and the sea food selection, in general, is a bit smaller as well, but just as good.

This is an old boat launch for life boats. The building now houses some kind of museum, and the launch now serves as a means for having some water fun.

Eating Well in Franconia

Whenever we travel to Franconia, we overeat. I usually remember to order the Seniorenteller (smaller size), but we also nibble on this and that, things my siblings push towards us, and what we miss around here in Hessen.

The drinking portions are in a different category too. Whenever I order a Weinschorle (half wine, half mineral water), it comes in a 0.5 l glass (pint size). I forget I need to order a small one.

Weinschorle

This is one of my favorites. We can get this in Hessen too, where it is called Obadza. In Franconia, it is called ‘Gerupfter’, served on dark bread or lye. This spread is a mixture of butter, Camembert, onions, and red pepper.

Gerupfter a.k.a. Obatzda

We wanted a small lunch in between running errands. When the proprietor suggested ‘Kraut und Bratwürst’ for a small lunch, we believed him (we fall for it every time!). First came the basket of bread.

Then came the actual lunch – big fat tasty fried sausages. Oh my.

I’m glad we had this photo taken before lunch.

Dambach-la-Ville in the Alsace

On our way back to Oberursel, we stopped for lunch in the village of Dambach-la-Ville (about 10 minutes from Sélestat). It was Sunday, and very quiet. The only people we saw were a handful of tourists like us heading to the restaurant opposite the church.

This must have be the quietest place on earth. No voices (from neither people, nor animals), no car traffic, no sounds coming from any of the homes. It seemed the residents had all left for the weekend. This was the case on an early Sunday afternoon in late February.

The village (based on all the signs we saw) offers much wine-tasting, hiking routes, and places to stay overnight. Next time, we’re heading to the Alsace, we will spend a few days in Dambach-la-Ville. The village lies on the eastern slopes of the Vosges, and offers quite a few hiking trails.  I’ll even try it – the shortest one is a one-hour trail. I can manage that.

This is one of the many half-timbered homes in the village.

The roads in this medieval wine village were deserted on this Sunday in February.

 

To learn more about this village, visit Dambach-la-Ville, Alsace.

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