A lil background for you: we started our tour in France, landing in Paris and immediately driving to Bayeux, France. Bayeux is 20 minutes from Omaha beach and is the quaintest, cutest lil town. If you head Omaha I highly recommend staying in Bayeux. If you missed my first post about Normandy check it out *here*.
Day two we were slightly groggy but getting close to French time. We had to get up early to move our car to another lot and then decided to try to find a park to use the TRX.
Bummerville to find none of the parks had a basketball hoop or soccer goal to use for security. So it was back to the hotel for another room workout. Le Husband rolled with the TRX and I chose to do a body weight circuit. Then it was time to get ready for the day, including a stop at the store for lunch staples. This morning was the local market and we enjoyed walking through all the booths on the way to the grocery.
Once food was procured it was off to Point de Hoc, which is about a 20 km drive from our hotel. I personally am not as familiar with Point de Hoc, but P had this on his must see list so of course I was happy to tag along. Ummmm, wow! The cliffs are huge and the enormity of the Ranger's mission ( with failed landings ) hits you as you look out over the bluffs.
Shell holes and leftover bunkers and fortifications litter the area, creating some fun picture moments. The wind was wicked all afternoon and the bunkers made for a bit of relief while being fun to explore.
My eyes glittered with tears as I looked down into the sea and witnessed the obstacles the 225 Rangers faced. At the end of two days only 39 would live to tell the tale of their assault.
After the full tour we headed back to the car to head off to Utah beach. We had heard the monuments here were fantastic, as is the museum, but we were not prepared for the wind and sand storms (full disclosure, I still have sand in my hair as I type this update). We found a bit of relief in the museum and then braved the wind to fill our second keepsake bottle. Once in the beach the wind died down some, but the passage through the dunes was no joke.
We stopped at the Roosevelt cafe for a quick coffee and really enjoyed all of the notes left my veterans and others honoring their friends on the wall.
Our last stop of the day was Saint Mere Eglise aka the paratrooper stuck on a church stop.
There is an INCREDIBLE Airborne museum right next to the church and our final hour of exploring was spent inside. Not only was it a nice break from the weather, but it was an extremely informative exhibit.
What we ate:
Our visits to both beaches were exactly the experience we were looking for and it was so worth the two days. I know most people probably would plan a trip different, with less time in Normandy, but being huge WW2 buffs this part of the trip meant a whole lot to the both of us. I originally was quite worried about the attitudes of French people, but the residences of Bayeux were some of the kindest people I've ever met. Both Le Husband and I now plan to have a B&B in Bayeux when we retire, haha ;)!
Normandy was truly an incredible visit and I hope one day to go back again.