Travelling overnight on the Mont St Michel, cabin on deck 7,
my father, my son and me arrived in Caen with our bicycles, then immediately decamped to the terminal as it was still dark, and nothing much opens in France before 9 on a Saturday morning.
A gentle ride along the cycle path into town...
And then some time at the Musee de Normandie, with its impressive collection of stone/bronze/iron age artefacts.
This we followed with a ride out to Mondeville (2) for lunch and shopping - the former at Les Comptoirs Casino (for the uninitiated, Casino group chain of self-service restaurants, like a BF self service, but without the boat!) which was absolutely heaving, unsurprisingly, on a saturday lunch time; it's great for a sit down and refuel when out cycling because you can get a hot meal for 5 Euros - I went for roast chicken, dad had lamb meatballs and my son went for Andouilette sausage and we all piled on veg and rice/spuds/pasta.
Carrefour was then tackled, and our bags were stuffed to capacity with wine, coffee and chocolate.
The ride back to Ouistreham was via cycle path to Colombelles, and across the river back onto the voie verte - this is by far the best route to the shopping centre at Mondeville for cyclists (to/from the ferry) as it has the least distance on roads (barely half a mile out of the ten mile distance) and those roads aren't busy ones, so handy if you have younger children with you (mine's 10).
Onto the Normandie for the 4.30 boat back to Portsmouth, Peter and his grandad posed for a picture on the Helipad (it was absolutely freezing out there)
A nice hot shower (cabin 7202) later, dinner in the self service (Peter disappointed no Buffet available in the "posh" restaurant) was demolished by three rather saddle-sore tired-legged chaps - 2 racks of lamb for the "grown-ups",
and a mixed hors d'oeuvres AND a caesar salad for the boy, followed by this..
which was a group effort, and filled us up nicely for a couple of hours kip, before getting back to Pompey, followed by the 22:45 cat back to the Island.
Had a great day out, cycled about 30 miles in total, managed to avoid the rain; Peter got to cross 2 more BF boats off of his list (he's on 6 now, same as me) and he also got to see the Etretat up close ("that is one ugly boat, it's just a floating multi-storey carpark") correctly identified the Duc de Normandie from an old photo (sticky up/back black bits on the funnel apparently) and asked when the next trip is going to be (don't know), when are BF getting a new ship (don't know) ,is the Bretagne getting scrapped (once again, don't know) and "when can we go on the Cap Finistere (a girl in his class did and he's jealous) the Armorique and the Baie de Seine. I think we can safely assume he enjoyed it!