Normandy is not at all what I expected.  Lovely scenery, peaceful, and warmer than I thought.  A place in contrasts.  The Arromanches beach with the amazing building of the temporary harbor.  Something I had no knowledge of.  Totally amazing.  Look it up.  In 6 days the British built a harbor beginning on D-day+1.  The US harbor “copy” unfortunately got tossed in a bad storm.  The British version fed the invasion supplies for the whole invasion of Europe.  Quite a feat.   Not much remains so you’ll need to look it up.

Cemeteries  the American and British visited so far.  Tomorrow the German.  The American was moving, more so in the museum.  Compelling storiesthere.  The cemetery is “deeded land” (not the right words) to the US in perpetuity.  But, the facility is apparently run by the French – even though a US national cemetery.  Taps and the taking down of the US flag each day is done by…. the French.  It just does not feel right….

The US cemetery in Normandy. 25,000 American died in the Normandy battles, but only about 9300 burred there. Many bodies were shipped home by family choice.

By contrast, the British Cemetery, which is in Bayeux (the town where are at staying) has a little more than 4000 grave markers.  Interesting, it includes some Allied soldiers, as well as a section with quite a few German solders.  Each of the Commonwealth and Allied markers has an apparently family personalized message on the marker, as well as very lovely flowers along the rows.  An example of a marker…”Until stars forget to shine we’ll remember him.  Wife, Mother Father and daughter.”  We did not see any two alike.  A much more moving and personal statement.

A row at the British Cemetery in Bayeux.


We also visited, today, the Tapestry of Beyaux.  Had never heard of it, but it was stitched in the 1070’s???? – is 210 feet long and tells the story of how William Duke of Normandy became King of England in 1066 – that infamous date.  One cannot believe this tapestry.  I can’t provide a pic (not allowed as it is 1000 years old and some of the best stitching I’ve seen), but this is something you should see.  One of the most amazing images I’ve seen.  Again, look it up!!!

After the D-Day “activities”, we needed some lighter activities.  A lovely walk along the River Aure.  This little kittien enjoying the day in an odd spot…

She must have an alternative path to the opening as water surrounds the forward path.

And a bit of bird watching in a green space along the river Aude.  Many birds we struggle with as the warbles are brown as opposed to yellow as in the Americas, and Robins are small and,… well, the birds are different.  But, we saw this lovely snake that one man told us was very poisonous.  I don’t know, but he was cute!

Out snake encounter!

Oh, and lovely galletes (buckwheat crepes/omelets with fillings) and crepes with  chocolate.  Ohm, and we are falling in love with a new rose daily….

Oh, it is mid-night.  my nightly bedtime it seems!



Contrasts — 1 Comment

  1. I thought I was pretty familiar with WWII and I love history, but it appears that I have a lot of “school work” to do after reading this interesting post!