Last night I had a look online to confirm how long it would take me to get to Juno Beach from Rouen and I discovered in order to avoid tolls it would take approximately 2 and a half hours to get here, plus any random stops along the way.
I also discovered a little hidden gem that is not commonly visited by tourists on the way, it is not easily accessible, unless you plan to drive by it. Chateau Robert le diable. It’s a ruined fort, but it remains publicly accessible as it is ‘maintained’. You know, as maintained as ruins can get. I was fortunate enough for a foggy morning, making it a perfect photography opportunity.
I made a couple other random photography stops further along my drive, but I opted to make good time to Juno beach. I visited the Canadian military cemetery first as it is on the way to town, but I went on an unnecessary detour courtesy of my rental car GPS. Regardless of the photography opportunity the cemetery provides, this stop is a must for any Canadian visiting Juno. I believe that it is important to pay respect to those that sacrificed their lives for our freedoms.
After checking into my hotel, I walked around the town looking for lunch. The restaurants in town seem to be poorly rated, but there was one that I found that had a very good review, La Mattélie. The menu was small, but that is usually a good sign as it means specialization. And it was delicious. The meal was fantastic, but this desert was incredible! Creamy, had texture, bitter and acidic notes mixed with the sweet.
Once I finished that incredible desert, I went on a walk around town to do some photography.The Pier and beach front are great sights. While the town is very small, you can more or less walk through it in less than an hour, provides some interesting photography opportunities, both with and without props. I brought some green army men with me to take some photos on the beaches of Normandy, as this was the landing point for the Canadian army. The museum is also quite small, you can walk through it in 40 minutes, even if you opt to watch the second presentation near the end, but it is a unique museum.
For dinner, I found a restaurant online that had incredible reviews, Catleya. Not surprisingly, they were fully booked. I did think it was worth noting that they were very friendly and helpful, regardless if I was a paying customer or not, they even made recommendations for other places to eat.