Sunday, November 6, 2011

Exploring Normandy

While my parents were here they wanted to see some more of France since they have only been to Paris and Bordeaux.  We decided to take them to Normandy for a weekend since my dad has always wanted to see the D-day beaches and it's a region I haven't explored much either.

We decided to go by car and go see le Mont St. Michel the Saturday, then drive north to stay in a hotel near the beaches and visit the beaches on Sunday.  In the end, this plan worked out great.  We had beautiful weather and we spent the Saturday afternoon visiting le Mont St. Michel, which is the only place I had already been to in Normandy.  My parents really enjoyed.   Then we drove up to a town called Grandcamp-Maisy along the coast where we were able to find a cheap place to stay for the night only a few minutes drive from the start of the D-day beaches and sites we planned to visit.

le Mont Saint Michel

port of Grandcamp-Maisy, where we stayed the night

On the Sunday we headed off to visit D-day sites, starting with the Pointe du Hoc, which was right outside of the town where we stayed.  The Pointe du Hoc is the clifftop site of an attack of the US Army Ranger Assault Group against the Germans in WWII.  When you visit you can see bomb craters all over the ground as well as some German fortifications such as shelters and artillery casements.

Pointe du Hoc, complete with bomb craters and German fortifications

view from the Pointe du Hoc

After the Pointe du Hoc we continued to drive along the coast to see some of Omaha Beach and some memorials along Omaha Beach.  Then we stopped at the American Cemetery, which overlooks a part of Omaha Beach near Colleville-sur-Mer.  Finally we continued on to Arromanches-les-Bains where you can see the remains of one of the Mulberry B artificial military port which was constructed to aid the Allied forces and is located between Omaha and Gold Beaches.

a section of Omaha Beach

the American Cemetery

part of the Mulberry B harbor in Arromanches-les-Bains

Once we finished with all of our planned D-day sites, we headed back toward Paris, and stopped along the way to walk around Honfleur, a city I had always wanted to visit.  And I was not disappointed, Honfleur was just as pretty as I had heard!

the port of Honfleur

Lionel and I in Honfleur

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