For our third day in France, we headed out on a day trip to see Normandy and the D-Day Landing Beaches. It’s an area that both my Dad and I have wanted to see. The day started out with a two- hour drive to the Caen Memorial Museum. The Museum is dedicated to what happened leading up to World War II, during the War, and an exhibit focused on the Cold War. We only had time to do the first two portions. The museum depicted specifics to France (the Holocaust, under occupation, and Normandy). We ate lunch at the museum before heading off to begin the rest of the day viewing the beaches and the memorials.
Our first stop of the day after the museum was Le Pointe du Hoc. We were able to view the beach from the cliff top as well as view old German pillboxes and structures used to house weapons.
|Le Pointe du Hoc|
From there, we drove down to Omaha Beach. We spent a few moments exploring the beach as well as the memorials to the American soldiers who lost their lives there.
We were able to see the artificial harbor created at Arromanches and part of Omaha Beach. Most of the parts of the artificial harbor are still in tact.
Before heading back to Paris, we had two more stops of the day. The first was the American Cemetery of Saint-Laurent. We were given about an hour to explore the cemetery, see the chapel, and see the memorial dedicated to the young American men who lost their lives. It was a very moving experience.
Finally, the last part of the trip for the day was to see Juno Beach where the Canadian Memorial is. Juno Beach and Omaha Beach accounted for some of the highest number of casualties during the battle.