LaManche:The English Channel
(or Toujours France)
We are constantly drawn back to France...perhaps to experience new friends in a new destination - The Ile de Re or the River Rhone - or, to discover something surprising in a familiar place - the massive mechanical Elephant on the Isle of Machines (pictured on the right), or, a personal angle on the 100th anniversary of The Great War. Join us for a new look at an old favorite and discover some unexpected connections, contemporary and historical, between France and the United States.Highlights include: 1. Hermione, a replica of the frigate of the Marquis de Lafayette preparing for its maiden voyage to the USA (2015); 2. Mount Ventoux, the greatest challenge in the cycling world; 3. Vineyard tourism at a famous Provencal chateau; 4. Nantes, birthplace of Jules Verne, and home of the Memorial to the Abolition of Slavery; 5. Strasbourg, home of the European Parliament where French and German cultures blend; 6. Gypsy guitarists, water jousting and a seafood festival at Martigues, the Venice of Provence; 7. 100th anniversary Great War tribute. "A Great War Story."
Join us, Monty and Marsha Brown, for a circle tour of the four coasts of France - the English Channel, the Atlantic Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea and the River Rhine, plus a brief return to Paris.
A special segment we produced for the 100th anniversary of World War 1. A Great War Story: the Battle of Verdun and the story of Marsha's Grandpa Newton.
Gypsy Guitarists playing in the street in Martigues in the south of France. We just came upon them and they treated us to a concert in the style of The Gypsy Kings.
La Manche/The English Channel: A trip from east to west along the southern coast of England and the northern coast of France, and some islands in between. We look at the sometimes testy, sometimes friendly, relationship between these two great cultures. La Manche, the sleeve, is the French name for the Channel.
From the White Cliffs of Dover to the craggy limits of Land's End; from the Alabaster Coast of Normandy (pictured at right - Etretat), to the Emerald Coast of Brittany, "The English Channel" is a journey along the facing shores of France and England. Sometimes friendly, often confrontational, the historical relationship between these two great cultures has always been intriguing. The Channel can be a barrier, or it can be a link. Join us on a unique voyage of discovery along the North Coast of France, the South Coast of England, and some islands in between.
La Manche Video Clip
Part I: Sussex & Kent: England's South East: Dover and Folkestone. Ferries, Channel swimmers and trains: how to cross the Channel. Martello Towers: defending against Napoleon. Camping at Little Switzerland. The Battle of Britain memorial. Fishing in Hastings, battling in Battle, Romans in Pevensey: the Norman Invasion of 1066. Eastbourne: what to do on the beach on a cloudy day. Beachy Head: the highest cliff on the south-east coast. The Long Man of Wilmington, the dinosaur of Brighton, and Jerusalem in Bognor Regis.
Part II: Upper Normandy's Alabaster Coast.
Dieppe: the closest beach to Paris. Watching sunbathers and eating moules. The story of the disastrous Dieppe Raid of 1942. Claude Monet's coastal Normandy. Evening in St. Valery. The arches of Etretat. Outdoor cafes in lively Rouen, where the English burned Joan of Arc. Rouen Cathedral.
Part III: Around the Isle of Wight: Portsmouth & historic ships: Nelson's flagship "Victory," and "Warrior," an early iron-clad. Exploring the Isle of Wight: a scary chair lift at the Needles. Queen Victoria's Osborne (country) house. Birth of the Hovercraft: another way to cross the Channel. "Pickled in history is Poole." Recent and ancient history. Brownsea Island, birds, and the birth of the Boy Scout Movement.
Part IV: The Normandy World War II Beaches Calvados: the department and the drink. The story of Pegasus Bridge: at Sword Beach. Caen, rising from the ashes of WW II: the Museum for Peace. The Canadians at Juno Beach. The British at Gold Beach: the Mulberry harbor. Chatting with a British Vet. War Museums. English school children studying the Norman AND Normandy Invasions. The Bayeux Tapestry. War Cemeteries Ceremony: the playing of the "Last Post." Omaha Beach, St. Lo, & sunset at Cherbourg.
Part V: England's South West Coast: Dorset, Devon & Cornwall
The SouthWest coastal path. Morris Dancing at the Square and Compass. The Jurassic Coast: fossils and dinosaurs. Portland Castle and Lyme Bay: rehearsals & tragedies on the way to DDay. Dartmouth, Plymouth and the Pilgrim Fathers. Sloe gin on the trail. Cornwall: Minack Theater, St. Michael's Mount (below), and Land's End.
Part VI: Brittany: Westernmost France
From St. Michael's Mount in Cornwall to Mont St. Michel in France: a magical & spiritual connection. St. Malo, Jacques Cartier, and the privateer Robert Surcouf. Sailboarding at St. Lunaire. Cap Frehel lighthouse. Roscoff: a beautiful port with an English Connection. The French Market in London and in France. Granit Rose, spectacular coast; riding two horses at once. It's all part of Brittany's coastal grandeur.
Part VII: Guernsey and Sark: Channel Islands
Guernsey: not just an island, also a cow and a sweater. Nestled near the coast of France, the Channel Islands were the only part of Great Britain to be occupied by Nazi Germany. St. Peter Port, the French-style capital. The German Underground Hospital. Sand sculpture. A boat trip to Sark: no horseless carriages here! It's the last remnant of feudalism. Ducks and flower gardens. Magical moments with the Grandmother Stone, a tiny church and the Entrance to the Land of the Fairies.
Etched in Stone:
| "From Central Scotland, south through England, London & Paris to the sunny south of France."
Since we first started making Travel Films (at the turn of the Century), we have been fascinated by Stone and the stories stone can tell us about historical lives and times. Very often the stories are myths and legends which have evolved to explain the unexplainable. Ghost stories perhaps, invented to account for strange noises or sudden light gusts of cold air. In our earliest film on Britain, we visited Stonehenge, the largest and most notable, and most visited, circle of monoliths in the country. Since then we have been awed by the sheer number of similar, if smaller and more obscure, sites, throughout Europe. Each site has a story to tell; some have several conflicting legends attached. The film, "Etched in Stone." reveals many cases of history written in stone, starting with the Stone Age and bringing us right up to the present day. The voyage is one of discovery, so follow us as we set out from the brisk and breezy shores of Scotland and end our journey on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean.
Film Makers at Work at Conisboro in Yorkshire. A favourite castle of Sir Walter Scott.
Testimonial from Deryck, of Coventry England, who purchased several copies of It's Great! Britain on the internet. September, 2007.
Just to let you know that the parcel arrived this morning - with a comfortable week to spare ahead of our departure. And to say also that we are very pleased with the contents of your film. The DVDs are intended as gifts for close members of my family who, like you it seems, have their origins here but have lived most of their lives in the US. The idea is simply to awaken memories, or to forge new links. In making your film you could only make an impossibly small selection of places to visit, but as it happens your choice well met the bill.
We all know London, our son was married in an area of Suffolk that you display, my wife and I have visited Lindisfarne, and spent a recent holiday walking the length of Hadrians Wall; as children I and my sisters had seaside holidays at Presytatyn, we took my Mother on a tour of Exmoor on her very last return trip to England before she died (she was utterly delighted by it), and we've done some splendid walking in Hardy country. So you see - spot on!
You must return some day and do another, perhaps this time visiting the Highlands of Scotland, doing a bit more of Wales (the wonderful Snowdon Mountain range and the glorious Pembrokeshire coast), and of course our beloved Lake District. But again many thanks.
VIDEO (AT LEFT)
Stonehenge would certainly be the poster cluster of any film about megaliths in history. Though, in fact we have chosen the horse in the caves at Lascaux, SW France (below.) We noticed many more stone rows and stone circles, Roman remnants and some events, like the Trooping the Colour in London, which are simply so traditional that they might as well be cut in stone.
In the lower frame, below, Monty is looking for something to train his lens on. And since this is in the city of York, there are going to be many choices. In the background is the superb Yorkminster Cathedral.