2 June 2012, Gail’s trip log

Today was a very special and emotional day. We took a tour of the D-Day sites of Normandy. After the fog and bouncy seas the past 24 hours, we were surprised when we arrived in Le Havre to beautiful sunny skies – temperature in the high 60s. We took our heavy sweatshirts, but these were quickly shed and left on the bus when we stopped. Le Havre itself is a big, ugly city with yucky air because of the oil refineries and all the tanker ships coming in and out. There is a very spectacular curvy bridge going across the estuary – that is, by the way, the mouth of the River Seine. Once out of the city, the French countryside was very green and beautiful with many little villages and old churches. It was about 1 ½ hours to the first stop – Arromanches – where the allies built an entire harbor in 13 days, using pieces prefabricated secretly in England, to support all the troops that had landed. There was an excellent video about it – even Dan had never heard about it and it was fascinating to see what they had accomplished. Next was lunch at a very old farmhouse – built in the 1400s – turned into an elegant French restaurant. The food was superb, although the pace was a bit slow for me. They had three kinds of wine on every table! After lunch we headed for our main objective – the American Cemetery and Memorial at Omaha Beach. Nearly 10,000 American troops are buried there and it is very moving to see rows and rosw of white crosses radiating out in all directions. We spent about an hour there walking around and reading some of the inscriptions. We went into the small chapel as well. The next stop was a 15 minute photo stop where we could actually go down and walk on the beach itself. That was also very powerful – we tried to ignore one tourist lady on our bus who mugged for the camera doing silly pictures at every stop – totally offensive and clueless to be acting cute and sexy in a cemetery, especially this one. The final stop was overlooking the cliffs where there was a German bunker complex which a group of US Army Rangers scaled at great cost – but was successfully accomplished. Back on the bus for the two hour drive back to the ship. We had some dinner, saying good bye to some bridge friends, then back to the cabin to put all our suitcases out before 10 – keeping our morning clothes and carry on bags in the cabin. We are due to dock in Dover at 500 am, off the ship at 830. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s