Day 98: D-day Beaches and Bayeux, Normandy, France

Day 98: October 28th

We decided to visit the American Cemetery in Normandy this morning. The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is a World War II cemetery and memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, that honors American soldiers who died in Europe during World War II. A lot of the graves here were of soldiers who probably died not too far away in the D-day landings which took place on the morning of June 6th, 1944. The cemetery itself sits on a bluff that overlooks Omaha beach..one of the five beaches involved in the landings. Since Omaha beach was where the Germans had the best defense, this is where the fiercest fighting also took place. You can read more about the Normandy Invasions here. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normandy_landings )

It’s really hard to imagine the horrors of the war today as the beaches are so beautiful and peaceful. The entire cemetery and memorial is a beautiful place…a fitting tribute and final resting place of more than 9000 Americans who died during the war.

Later in the afternoon, we visited the Bayeux Tapestry. I have to say, after being in so many museums on this trip… This was by far the best museum experience we’ve had. There is only one exhibit at the museum, the tapestry itself. It depicts the events that led to the Norman invasion of England and culminates in the battle of Hastings. The tapestry is more than a thousand years old and is laid out on a semi circular wall. Our audio guide explained the tapestry scene by scene… As if it were a comic strip. One had to keep moving as the audio guide didn’t stop. This kept everyone else moving as well. It was great..we were done in 15 minutes. We probably spent more time queuing to get tickets than in the museum itself.:)

We also visited the Bayeux Cathedral and I have to day that the stained glass windows rivals those of Notre Dame. Beautiful!

Later in the day, while we were at a cafe, the friendly owner recommended a place in a town not too far away for dinner. So off we went on a mini-adventure to find this restaurant. Anytime you step out in a country where you don’t speak the language, it’s a mini-adventure! We’ve been lucky though…so far, most of the restaurants we’ve been to have basic English menus and at least one staff that spoke some English. We were also told that Normandy is popular with a lot of British retirees as it isn’t too far and much cheaper!:) That’s probably why we are able to get by without too much difficulty.

Tomorrow, we’re off to see the iconic Mont St.Michel.

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On our way to the American Cemetery

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View of Omaha Beach from the American Cemetery

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American Cemetery

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American Cemetery

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American Cemetery

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Omaha Beach

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American Cemetery

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Omaha Beach

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Omaha Beach

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Bayeux Cathedral

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Bayeux Cathedral

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Bayeux Cathedral

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