We woke up after a great sleep in as we only had one thing on the agenda, to go to the Fort La Latte on the northwest coast of France, and then poke around the area to see if we can find a beach to play around on.

We had a little early morning game of soccer in the yard as part of the phys ed class for the day. The kids found this soccer ball in Florence Italy, and it has been with us ever since…

Once again, the HereWeGo took us on a bit of an adventure.  This time we even went through a farmers field to get to the main road that we needed to get to en route to Fort La Latte.  “Trust the app.  Trust the app.”, we keep telling ourselves and it always gets us to where we want to go.

We got to the fort parking lot and it was a bit of a hike in, but it was a lovely day.  The story of this fort is like this…it was built in the 13th century on a rocky penninsula, and can only be crossed by two drawbridges.  One into the first entrance and then one into the second real entrance.  There was a replica of a battling ram from that era which was pretty cool.  Not like the movies where everyone was carying the ram.  This was smart, and they had it on wheels.

Butting heads

In fact, cool thing is, that since they built this castle on the end of a cliff and the ocean is all around it, they put a fake drawbridge facing the ocean.  Where there is an ocean shore, there are rocks, and on the northwest side of the castle there are lots of jagged ones under the surface of the water.

Ships head in thinking that they are going to flatten the castle and take it over, and their boat sinks.  Too bad for your luck.  Try again next time.  Smart!

Wilson had a great time with a new sketchpad that he had, and drew some great renditions of the castle (for art class!).  He has some that are unfinished, but it allowed him to stop and appreciate the surroundings.

The fortress has a fantastic view from the crows nest, which unlike other castles that we have visited where you walk up winding interior stairs, you climb up steep pitched, oddly shaped stairs to the top landing on the outside of the roof.

Climbing up and down the roof to get to the crows nest

Here there are some specxtacular views that can be had by the soldiers.  Plus you could pretend that you were fighting off enemy armies coming in from the shore.  Wilson sketched, Lulu fought the battles.

“Don’t mess with me,” she yells as Lulu fires her musket!

One cool fact is that they had cannons here.  Well, a lot of castles had cannons.  But these guys took it a step further.  They had a oven beside the cannon area that they could heat the cannon balls to 900C.  They then had a stone conveyor belt that they could roll the balls down to the cannons, load them (I bet someone burt themselves every once in awhile) and fired it out at the ships which were made of wood.  The balls were so hot that the would start a fire on the ship!  I wonder if, when they hit a boat, that they licked their finger and touched their butt and made a sizzling sound?  Then they chest pumped each other.  Seems fitting.

The castle also was a functioning castle as people actually lived there, so it had gardens and a cool little hedge labyrinth that said “N’entrez Pas SVP”.  Ok.  Got the hint.  There were a couple of furnishings but not much, but they did have a deer head on the wall, and a honey badger.  Gotta love the honey badger.

  

We had had enough of playing kings and queens, so we went off searching for a beach for which this coast is known for.

We almost left Wilson here. At least he had a view!

We found a nice sandy beach at low tide, so the kids could wander out far onto the ocean floor and we found all kinds of hermit crabs hiding in their shells, and maybe a jelly fish or it could have been a breast implant.  Not sure.

We hiked over the rocks and found a couple of locals who were combing the ocean pools for little shrimp to eat for dinner.  Even got the recipe!  But we didn’t have any nets to catch them.  No worries…

It was creme glace o’clock, so off we went off in search for a store with ice cream, and it was hard to find in these small sleepy costal towns!  Tourist season is on the way out, so a lot of places were closed up.  We eventually found one, and made our way home to head to bed as tomorrow is a big day for us as we head off to Mont Saint Michel and Juno Beach to pay our respects to the fallen Canadians who gave their life so we could have our freedom.