Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Normandy remebered

We started out early on Thursday morning heading for our first stop Rouen, France.

Rouen is the capital of the Normandy region and known for the trial and execution of Joan of Arc ( real name Jeanne d’arc cause she is french)

We had lunch in the Place du Vieux Marche area which was partly demolished by the bombings. This is also the square that Jeanne d’arc was burned on a stake in 1431.

this sign marks the spot were Joan of Arc was burned

Then we walked to visit La Cathedrale de Rouen, which is the church Monet painted from 1890 -1892 the church also suffered major damage during WWII and has been repaired.

Then we drove to our hotel…which was in the extremely small town and in the middle of the farm fields. Our rooms were good and they included the following…Breakfast, dinner and rooster cock-a-doo a dooing in the morning.

Friday morning after breakfast we left for Musee du debarqument – an awesome museum explaining the D day invasion and the building of the harbor that you still can see parts of today I the ocean. They also have uniforms, plans and other items belonging to soldiers on display. If all of that isn’t enough they have 2 films that explain the whole d-day planning from beginning to the execution.

When we were checking out the beach after the museum we noticed the tide was coming in fast. My dad and I almost got stuck in some major water collecting some shells. Which was weird due to the fact before we went in to the museum the tide was really far out and people were actually walking around some of the old harbor parts.
old parts of the harbor

On our way to find the cemetery we came across the old batteries and bunkers of the Germans.

Next stop…Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Over looking Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery contains 9,387 perfectly aligned white crossed on 170 acre plot. A chapel and a memorial add the finishing touch to this very moving scene. I will just let the photos speak for themselves.

Then to Utah Beach were we had lunch and walked down the beach and imagined all the things that happened there.

Joe & I on Utah Beach

We were then to the town of Bayeux to see an antique store specializing in porcelaine from limoges, paris and french regions. I was thinking of all the plates I could get there!!!! When we found the store…it was closed for the holidays. Which Joe said was a good thing due to the fact it would have been an expensive stop. OHHHH you should have seen all the dishes in that store!! I can’t wait to find a time when Joe is not traveling to go back and shop.

Saturday was the day to go home…we drove along the coast part of the way through trouville, deauville and stopped at Honfleur for lunch. Honfleur claims to be the most beautiful city in the Normandy region. Another claim is they have many, many, many artists; almost every store was an art gallery. This is the only town that we have come across the dreaded lunch time closing. We have heard about it and have never experienced it till now. Every thing was closed from 12:30 till 2:30 or 3:00. So we left with out any shopping.

We also crossed the Normandy brige which was a very huge bridge.

Our road trip was a huge success! We really had no idea there was so much to see and soo much history still to see. We really are looking forward to visiting again; I’m however scanning the real estate ads that my dad picked up. Any thing on the beach or in the country is fine with me.

Foxy chekcing out a very cute donkey

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