Caen Travel Blog› entry 4 of 7 › view all entries
Since I wanted to brush up on my World War II knowledge, I figured that it was time to visit Normandy. So after being homeless for a night in Paris (literally), we packed everything up and took the train to Caen. Once we got there, we stroll around town for a bit, very small and very quiet but it was pleasant.
There were several cabs that offer competitive prices to drive you around all the places tourist often want to visit and they offer different prices dependent on where you want to go, we decided that we wouldn't be able to see everything so we decided to make 3 stops.
So the best bet would be to hire one of the taxis to drop you off and pick you up from location to location.
I had originally wanted to bring my bicycle for this trip but since I had to travel from Nantes on the train there were virtually no options to take your bike with on the trains that went there.
If you’re very fond of war movies and watched “Saving Private Ryan” or played “Call of Duty 2” then you definitely know about the battle that happened on this beach. The Allied forces invaded Normandy on June 6 1944, a day referred to as D-Day.
I was standing by the water, trying to picture myself as a German soldier and seeing thousands of troops invading you from the sea.
POINTE DU HOC
This was a pretty cool hill. From here you could actually see Omaha Beach and Utah Beach below. During the war, the US soldiers use this base as a point of attack since the Germans were able to use this site to bomb soldiers that were coming from beaches.
It was a high climb but once I got to the top, it was all worth it. First thing I noticed were the German gun posts that were still somewhat intact. These soldiers would apparently crouch under their post to hide their position from airborne attacks and shoot at Allied soldiers from afar.
This cemetery is actually directly above Omaha Beach so instead of riding in the taxi, I decided to walk there and enjoy the sites.
The American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer was surreal. Before this trip I can admit that I was very uneducated about the specifics that actually took place in Normandy during this war but when I started to see the endless rows of cross or statue of David (for Jewish American Soldiers) + the names of all those that didn’t make it back home… There was a wall with over 10,000 names on it of soldiers that either died or not accounted for after the battle. It filled me with sorrow at first but that quickly turned into admiration and complete respect for all those that went to serve there country in times of war and unrest. I probably spent a good hour just walking around and reading the names of those that had fallen. I think every American should visit this place one day if they could because it makes all the other troubles in life seem so trivia and there is some feeling of peace & tranquility when you walk through this place.