We saw these cows on our way from Sainte-Mère-Église to Utah Beach. Why a post about the cows in Normandy? They are a breed unique to the region and responsible for the really good cheese that comes from the area.

Normande cattle are a breed from the Normandy region in North West France. They are claimed to be descended from cattle imported by Viking settlers.

The breed is dual purpose for milk and beef, with the accent on milk production. The milk is particularly suitable for cheese production. The animals are chestnut-brown pied or black pied. The head is white and the eyes are darkly “spectacled” (“lunettes”). Cows average 700 kg in weight and are approximately 140 cm tall. Bulls are typically 1,100 kg in weight and 152 cm tall. [SOURCE]

According to our guide, these cows are naturally curious and helped ‘the liberators’ (American/British/Canadian troops) by often walking towards where the Nazi soldiers were hiding in a field. True or not it makes for a good story and when our car stopped the cows did head our way to check us out.

The metal gate in the first picture is supposedly from steel that the allies used once they had taken the area to create runways for planes. Once the runways were no longer needed the farmers dug up the material and recycled it where they could.