We may be stuck in France a bit longer than expected...
Bayeux Travel Blog› entry 2 of 2 › view all entries
Apparently we forgot to shut off the lights on our beautiful silver Mercedes and the battery is now dead. Mom, Dad and Martha are waiting for the Hertz mechanic to show up ... I decided to take the opportunity to blog a bit (as waiting in parking lot with nervous parents would cause me to break open vins de blanc at this early morning hour). Anyway - if the car starts, we are on our way to Mere St Eglise and then to Cherbourg to catch our ferry at 6pm. We land (hopefully) in Rosslare, Ireland around 11:30 tomorrow morning. We bought lots of wine for our journey over the sea. Good lord. Hopefully vomit bags will not be required.
The D-Day beaches were fantastic. We visted Pont du Hoc on Tuesday - saw the remains of the German bunkers, some of which are still intact and others were completely blown apart w/ huge concrete boulders laying about the place. The monument dedicated to the 225 Rangers who scaled the precarious cliffs is closed off as it was placed a bit too close to the edge of the cliff .... but we took lots of pictures of the pock-marked land. The area was heavily bombed by the Allied forces in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944. It is really amazing -you can look down the cliffs and see what our guys had to do - the reinforcement regimen did not think the 225 Rangers had made it to the top of the cliffs, so they landed at Omaha and joined the battle there instead. As a result, the 225 Rangers had to hold off the Germans for 2 or 3 days, they lost most of their guys - only 90 remained after their reinforcements arrived - but they took Pont du Hoc and killed off most of the Germans. It is an amazing story. Then we headed to Omaha Beach and saw the memorials there dedicated to the Allied forces - there is an American flag flying there that brought tears to my eyes. We had lunch across the street at L'Omaha Restaurant. Then we were off to the American Cemetary. We caught a 15-minute movie at the Visitor Center that depicted several soldiers - reading from letters their family members saved over the years - it was a tearjerker & of course, I cried and only had one tiny little tissue. Then we went to the cemetery and saw the 10,625 crosses and Stars of David laid out in front of us. It is an overwhelming sight - and so peaceful and quiet. A proper final resting place for all of these brave young guys - it overlooks the beach and where many of them died. We took lots and lots of pictures. Then we headed to Longues sur Mer where German artillery bunkers are still intact - and a huge pill box overlooking the sea. It is all too creepy to see where young Nazis, likely bored from their long duty on the French coast, grafittied (sp) the bunkers & etched their names into the sides of buildings (along with inappropriate pictures ... ) Then we were on to Arromanches - where the main supply route was located - they shipped huge barges over to this part of the coast & sank them providing a key route for supplies. The barges are still there &some have washed ashore. The French have not moved them which is telling of their feelings for Americans, Brits & Canadiens ! It is nice to drive along the coast and see American flags flying in front of French houses. It makes you so proud to be American. Then the rain came & it started pouring - we headed back to the hotel which is located centrally near the Bayeux cathedral. It is a nice hotel - a bit loud & the doors don't shut proerly but o'well.
Yesterday we headed to Mont St Michel - an abbey and church built on a huge rock. At high tide, the ocean comes in and surrounds the Mont making it an island. At low tide you can walk around the Mont on the sand - but there is quicksand around & it's kind of crazy that some tourists have drowned not expecting the tide to come in that quickly. Needless to say, we didn't leave the rock ... but enjoyed the tour & view from the Abbey. Mom did great & made it all the way to the top ... pictures came out awesome.
Last night we stayed in & I fell asleep for about 14 hours. This morning - if we get out of here - we'll head to Utah beach and Mere St. Eglise. I'll try & load some more pics.