Monday, July 5, 2010

Part II - our travels around France

Next stop...Honfleur.  Honfleur is a small town on the coast of Normandy in Northern France.  It is one of the most picturesque ports in Europe.

Caen's Museum for Peace in Caen.  This is an amazing museum which details the path Europe followed from the end of World War I to the rise of fascism to World War II.

We stayed the night in Bayeux.  We stayed at Le Castel, Noble Guesthouse.  This house is a 1937 Art Deco villa.  We were able to rent the entire first floor which included balconies and terraces.

The next day, we headed to Omaha Beach.  Omaha Beach was one of the main landing point of the US forces.

We were so lucky to arrive at Omaha Beach during a touching ceremony marking the anniversary of this landing.

The American Cemetery - There are 9,387 white marble crosses and Stars of David in memory of the Americans who gave up their lives to free Europe on the beaches below.  France has given the US permanent free use of this 172 acre site.

Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument - For this invasion, 300 US Army Rangers were handpicked to attempt the assault of the German-occupied cliffs.  Only 90 Rangers survived this vertical assault.  The German bunkers and bomb craters remain just as they were found.

St. Mere Eglise - This town was made famous by the paratrooper John Steel and by the film "The Longest Day".  John managed to land on the church and his chute caught on the steeple.  He hung there while the fighting continued on the ground for 2 hours before being cut down by the Germans, taken prisoner and later released by the Americans.  An effigy of John Steel is still on the steeple.

St. Mere Eglise's war memorial with plaques commemorating the liberation of the town.

Stopping at one of many Calvados farms in Normandy.  We all had tastings at Bernard Lebric's farm and bought Calvados as well as Apéritifs.  Like they say "An apple a day..."


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

More fantastic travels, so great that you all got around together before Bob (Christopher) and family left.

Like it ..:-) an Apple a day :-)

Your blog is looking great, and your photos. xx

Carolyn said...

Hi Dawn -- found you via Leesa and Anne and Karin :) -- congratulations to your son for the graduation and especially to Mom and Dad!

Great photos!

Cheers from Sydney and all the best -- and go Big Ten!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Great place and stunning pictures Dawn.

Barbara said...

Hey there,

I have been able to experience a couple of these spots also. I enjoy Honfleur and its old wooden homes. And the D day landing beaches always make me reflect and feel.
Iam more than sure that your family enjoyed it!