Normandy and the D-Day Beaches

Bayeux Travel Blog

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German Battery
Today was full of war history. I woke up with another stomach ache and was able to eat two croissants for breakfast. Around 8:30am, we left the crazy hostel for a bunch of different war sites, beginning with a German Battery.

The German Battery was situated about 15 minutes outside of Bayeux on the shores of the English Channel. It was basically a big field that reminded me of Verdun. There were small forts situated throughout the field that showed scars from bombs and bullets. After about an hour or so walking around, we were off to Omaha beach and the American Cemetery.

Bertrand had told us that we would be able to take a swim at Omaha beach if we could handle the water temperature.
Entrance to the beach
Of course, my North Dakota ego came out and I had my bathing suit on ready to go. Once we arrived, most of the group headed straight for the beach to test out the water. After a short hike down the slopes that thousands of Allied troops had scaled just 65 years prior, we were standing on the sands of Omaha. It was pretty surreal looking around and imagining what it must’ve been like on June 6, 1944.

We then tested out the water. Almost everyone backed out except me and two other guys. In we went. It wasn’t nearly as cold as I had expected and I was able to stay in for almost ten minutes. The surf was pretty rough and the water had a brownish tint to it, but I can now say I’ve swam at Omaha beach.

After relaxing on the beach and drying off, we checked out the American Cemetery.
Walking towards the beach with some of the group in front of me
Some 3,000+ American troops are buried here, overlooking the beach on which they were killed. It was a nice, peaceful site that definitely pays respect to their honor.

Our final stop for the day was the Caen War Memorial, a huge museum dedicated to World War II, and in particular, Normandy’s role in the war. It was a very well laid out museum that led you from the very beginnings of Nazi Germany to the final victories in both Europe and the Pacific. After about two hours there, I was war’d out. I slept the entire bus ride back to the hostel and then another hour before dinner.

After dinner, everyone was trying to decide on plans for the night. Since Bayeux is so small, we ended up heading to a park next to the hostel. A few people sat and drank wine, some of us threw a Frisbee around, and others just chatted. After an hour or so, we all began mingling together and ended up playing duck-duck-goose. Imagine about 20 Americans and a few French guys playing duck-duck-goose in a park in Bayeux, France. Needless to say, it was one of the most fun nights of the trip.
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German Battery
German Battery
Entrance to the beach
Entrance to the beach
Walking towards the beach with som…
Walking towards the beach with so…
Omaha Beach, the water was pretty …
Omaha Beach, the water was pretty…
American Cemetery
American Cemetery
Caen War Memorial
Caen War Memorial
Bayeux
photo by: madeleine