Special Note: this blog is for two days, specifically 7&8 May, 2015. I spent most of May 7th in my new car. My first task was to fiddle with the controls and figure out better how things work. After I accomplished that, I drove to Giverny to see the Monet Gardens. Along the way I passed through several small towns in the French countryside. I stopped at one and took a picture of my little black car parked in front of a church (see picture) just because the town was so quaint and picturesque. The Monet Gardens are bright with colors and there were lots of tourists there to see them, along with a number of gardeners to tend them. I got a photo of the famous Japanese bridge (see picture). My next stop was Chateau Gaillard (see picture), a castle built by Richard the Lion Heart after he returned from crusading. It is pretty dilapidated now, but I enjoyed seeing it because I had read about it in the past and also because there are great views from there. I drove on to Bayeux and checked into my hotel. This morning I went on a daylong guided tour of the
D-Day beaches. It was an excellent experience with a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide. Here is a photograph of me standing in front of a Sherman tank near Utah Beach (see picture). I have read about the landings, but being there in person really brought the history to life. We went to see Omaha Beach, too, and the high bluff in between known as Pointe-Du-Hoc. It has been kept in pretty much the same shape it was in following the landings, so there are lots of bomb craters among the destroyed German gun emplacements (see picture). Our last stop was to the American Military Cemetery with its rows and rows of white crosses. One of the crosses marks the burial site of General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. who participated in the landings, but died a month later of a heart attack (see picture). Tomorrow I plan to explore other aspects of Bayeux, so stay tuned and I'll let you know what happens!
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