The variety of landscape and people in France is staggering, and every part has its own beauty. For Americans Normandy is always a place of pilgrimage, to imagine what it was like on June 6, 1944, but it is also a beautiful rural landscape of winding roads, cideries, ancient villages, hedgerows, orchards and fields away from the D-Day memorials, museums and shops. I was there and in Brittany with friends for a few days in November. Above, a peaceful farm road outside of Carentan, where fighting raged during and after D-Day. If you read Band of Brothers, or saw the TV series, the battle for Carentan is unforgettable. Pictures at the link below also cover Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc, where US Army rangers scaled a 90-foot cliff from the ocean to take a German gun emplacement. The American soldiers suffered a 75 percent casualty rate. One of those killed was from my birthplace, Bethlehem, PA. Below, cider-maker with a very, very old bottle of cider at the Domaine Dupont cidery, where they make not only fine hard cider but famous calvados; the hilltop town of Dinan, Brittany; fresh shellfish from the Baie de Saint Brieuc in Brittany; and the Armistice Day observance in Dinan, marking the 100th anniversary of the end of the slaughter that was World War I, November 11, 1918. Click here for the gallery.