Sunday, August 14, 2011

Normandy, France

The family on Utah Beach.

The Craters still remain from the bombing of Point du Hoc.

We left early Monday for our trip to Normandy with my parents.  It was a great trip.  The kids did well in the car for the 9 hour drive (it took us 11 hours).  It helped splitting them up between our car and the rental car.  We ate lunch at a rest stop and had supper at McDonalds before getting to our hotel in Bayeux.  The hotel was nice, inexpensive, and centrally located.  Tuesday morning, we had breakfast at the hotel and spent a day looking at the sights.  We first went to the Utah Beach Museum.  We arrived just after they opened and beat the crowd.  We spent about two hours there.  It was amazing and as an American with two grandfathers who served in WWII, it was a great visit.  We took a walk on the beach before packing up to head to the next stop.  We stopped next at the town St. Mere Eglise, where there is the Airborne Museum.  When the paratroopers where landing in the town one landed on the church steeple and was captured.  There is a dummy hanging there now in memory of him.  Afterwars we went to Omaha Beach followed by the Point Du Hoc.  It is a piece of land jutting out with views of both Omaha and Utah beach.  The germans could use it too target both beaches.  It was heavily bombed and then Rangers stormed the point before the main landings and scaled the 100 ft cliffs using rope ladders and destroyed the guns.  They then held out until reinforcements arrived.  On the more than 225 men that arrived only 90 were alive and fighting at the time reinforcements arrived.  The next stop was the American Cemetery, which was the highlight of the visit for me.  It is the burial site for over 10,000 American Soldiers who were killed in the battles in Normandy.  We stopped by one more musuem, the wreck museum, containing equipement salvaged off the seafloor.  It was already closed, but we were able to see what they had out front.  We made it back to a hotel and ate supper in a nice restaurant nearby.  We headed out early the next morning for Mont St. Michele.  It is an island in a bay that floods during high tides.  The island has a Cathedral built at the top.  Once again we arrived just in time, because as we left we saw a line of cars about 4 miles long waiting to enter.  The rest of the trip home went well.  We rested Thursday and Friday.  Friday, I took the papers in to turn in for our new house.  A few items were missing so  I will try to get those turned in on Tuesday.  Saturday we went and looked at some caves in the area.  We attended services in Carcassonne today.  God bless, JASON

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