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The second half of my travels took me to Europe to visit my former host family from when I was an exchange student in France and my friend Melinda from the Netherlands. After picking me up from Paris, I traveled with my host family to Normandy before returning to our village in central France.

Bénédictine Abbey of Fécamp, Normandy

Stained glass advertisement for Alcohol Menthe des Bénédictins

Étretat

Étretat

Étretat

Honfleur

Mémorial in Caen. I would highly recommend this to anyone visiting Normandy.  It is very interesting and well-presented. We spent four hours here without noticing, and we only saw the first half of the exhibit. In order to see both halves, I would recommend going early in the morning, stopping for lunch in the café at Mémorial, and then planning on spending another few hours on the second half of the exhibit. I would not recommend visiting this with small children.

“We will remember” candles for peace in Bayeux.

Cathedral in Bayeux.

Cathedral in Bayeux.

American WWII cemetery

The cliffs of Normandy

Mont-Saint-Michel and poppies.

Mont-Saint-Michel

Return to central France for Bastille Day celebrations

Bastille Day celebrations

My village, Menetou-Salon

Menetou-Salon

Appetizers for a Russian feast our friend Maya cooked for us

More Russian appetizers

Russian bread

And Russian cake for dessert :)

Welcome to Holland–wooden shoes in the garden

Biking on Ameland with the Dutch–never before have I felt so awkward on a bicycle.

Ameland

Ameland

Windmills and canals

The Hague

This is the Dutch government.

The Hague

The Queen’s workplace in the Hague

The Peace Palace in the Hague

Utrecht

Utrecht street art

Utrecht

Rainy Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Amsterdam from above

Amsterdam Centraal and me, unaware of the adventure I was about to have.

Amsterdam Centraal

Goodbye Amsterdam.