Blogs from Arromanches-les-Bains, Lower Normandy, France, Europe


D-Day 16 - 70 years later For our last day in Normandy, we decided to visit the Bayeaux Tapestry and D-day invasion beaches. The tapestry was very interesting. It holds a lot of historical significance, and it is interesting to see the story from the point of view of the French (Anne and Tony learned a more English version of the story). One of the most striking impressions was the exhibit which runs the story of William the Conquerer and the battle of Hastings in parallel with the D-Day invasion of France in 1944. It is very interesting to look at these two events, as they bear striking resemblance, and really drives home the fact that history repeats itself. After the Tapestry viewing, we ate at a fantastic Creperie by an old mill. The riverside terrace ... read more
Cool old Mill
Hamster's Artistic Side
Yummy Crepes

Normandy , the land of braves , don't forget...... Normandy,Normandie,,France,g.i,cimetery,american,u.s.a.,ww2,debarquement,june 1944,juin 1944, ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Arromanches-les-Bains September 1st 2013

WWII and Normandy During the World War II Normandy in France saw a lot of action and many important battles took place there. The main reason for me to go on this journey was to visit some of the places that I read about in the history lessons in school a long time ago or in novels, biographies and short stories in later years. I have ever since I was a child held a fascination for these places and I will try to share some of this fascination with you. In 1939, after Nazi Germany invaded Poland, United Kingdom sent over half a million soldiers to France to help the French army prevent an invasion in case Germany decided to invade France too. As most of you who are reading this already know Nazi Germany in ... read more
Fortifikation at Omaha Beach
Omaha Beach
Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Arromanches-les-Bains August 24th 2012

Far from Home with the Screaming Eagles Come the morning we set out for another traditional breakfast of a Baguette each, 2 Croissants each and a Pan au Chocolat. Suitably stuffed on Butter, Pastry, Bread and Chocolate we set out for St. Mere Eglise. This small town on the route up to Cherbourg was the Western flank of the invasion effort. Paratroopers of the US 101st airborne division, The Screaming Eagles, were dropped in and the town has become famed for the Paratrooper who's parachute became tangled around the church spire in the main square. These days there is an effigy of a paratrooper hung by his parachute from the spire and the Church commissioned a stained glass window to be designed to forever commemorate the efforts of the Airborne troopers who liberated the town. We ... read more
Parachuting into Normandy
In front of Dinah-Might at the Utah Beach Museum.
Commonwealth War-Graves Cemetery

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Arromanches-les-Bains August 23rd 2012

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you." - General Eisenhower Some Background Operation Overlord (the codename given to D-Day) was the largest Air and Naval Operation in the history of Warfare. It was the culmination of years of planning, subversion, stock-piling of resources and training of men. The Operation was broken down into many minor Operations that all contributed to the overall success of Overlord. Should Overlord have failed there is a very real chance that Britain would have been invaded and I may not be here typing this blog today. The courage and strength of each individual ... read more
Inside the Tunnel
The rest stop in the middle of nowhere...
Not a cloud in the sky, spirits are high.

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Arromanches-les-Bains August 1st 2012

Wednesday-Day 16 We decided on a road trip today from our hotel in Villerville to the D-Day beaches, museums and cemeteries. Our first stop was the village of Arromanches-les-Bains, considered 'ground-zero' of the D-Day invasion. It was the site of one of two pre-fab artifical harbors that were built in the days following the invasion. The basic facilities, including 115 football-sized, concrete blocks, were build in England and hauled over during the early days of the invasion. As part of the harbor, over 20 ships were intentionally sunk to create a sea break. Over 54,000 vehicles and 326,000 troops landed here in the weeks following D-Day. We visited our first D-day museum here. We also visited the nearby Arromanches 360 degree Theater. It includes a well produced slide and video presentation of the Normandy area, then ... read more
Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery
Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery

Normandy Sites Monday was a travel day from Brugges to Brussels via train; Transfering in Brussels to a high speed train back to the Train Station at Charles De Gaul airport (Paris). We picked up a rental car there and headed to Normandy in Northern France. One of the first things I noticed when we arrived in Bayeux - the town in which we stayed - was the number of American and Brittish tourists. That makes sense, I guess, given the historical nature of this area. Many of the key sights we were here in Normandy were related to the World War II D-Day assault on the beaches in this region. The French towns here really do a great job catering to the English speaking tourist. And you really get the sense that the people here ... read more
German Artillery Position
WWII American Cemetary
Marker of an unknown soldier

I shake you warmly by the hand. So, we are in the absolutely beautiful country of France, and I do emphasize beautiful. Sadly, pictures are not uploaded, but someday they will be. Hold on to hope. Wednesday, July 13. Rainy and cold. We drove 4 hours to a campground outside Paris with free internet. Thursday, July 14. Bastille Day (Independence Day) in France. We walked 5 minutes to the train station and went off to Paris. Our first stop was the Louvre, which was free that day. We waited in line for 10 minutes, went first to the Mona Lisa, and looked around for a while. We got to see sarcophaguses, sphinxes, and moat. We came out at 12:15 and sadly missed a military parade that happened just outside (we heard the planes). We headed for ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Arromanches-les-Bains October 6th 2009

Battlefields and cemeteries; whether in Normandy, Gettysburg, Washington DC or anywhere tug at the heart. It is overwhelming to look at the thousands of Crosses and Stars of Davids and think what these brave soldiers went through. The US / Canadian Cemetery is fittingly, immaculately kept. We were given a rose to place on the grave marker of our own choice. The museums were so informative. The signage was in French and English. One light note - we got the word at breakfast on the boat; that the itinerary would be tight to get through the Museum at Fort Winston properly and still have lunch. Ever resourceful, Wes, grabbed baguettes, cold cuts and cheeses from the breakfast buffet aboard the River Baroness; wrapped them in a linen napkin (which we returned later) and packed our lunch. ... read more
Where Poppies Grow
Wes and Joanne Omaha Beach
Crosses and Stars of Davids Row on Row

Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Arromanches-les-Bains April 14th 2009

Drove 3 hours through the Normandy countryside to visit some of the D-Day Beaches. First stop at Arromanches-les-Bains, the western-most point of GOLD beach, and the site of Port Winston. This is where the first artificial harbour was set up on June 6, with 17 old ships, and 115 Mulberries (football field size concrete blocks) towed across the channel and sunk. Then on to Longues-sur-Mer, where remains an intact German batterry of 4 150mm guns, with a range of 20km. The observation post was set 300m in front on the cliffs. These guns bombarded both the landing fleet and GOLD & OMAHA beaches. Next to Colleville-sur-Mer, and the largest American war cemetery. Overlooking OMAHA beach, some 9,000 Americans are buried there, marked by white marble crosses or Jewish stars. A sobering sight and memorial to the ... read more

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