Saturday, 24 October 2015

un week-end en France

It was SIL's birthday this week and my lovely daughter wanted to surprise him with a little trip, so last Saturday morning we jumped in the car and headed off to the Chunnel and over (or should that be under?) to France (as you do)

Our destination was to be the D Day beaches - about a 3 hour drive from Calais.

The most impressive bridge that spans the Seine from Picardy into Normandy 

The weather was not its best but we drove past Caen and onto visit Omaha Beach - one of the American landing points.  There is a beautiful memorial sculpture on the beach, and despite the weather there was also a large number of visitors

The view east and west - this beach is some 8 miles long.

Each of the beaches has a large engraved stone memorial

We drove up onto the cliff top where there are still German gun placements

And I wonder what those German soldiers were thinking as they looked out to sea to see hundreds of Allied ships on the horizon

From the cliff top (that had to be scaled under heavy gunfire) you can see the remains of the man made harbour at Gold Beach (one of the British landings)  that was constructed within three days of the landings.

We spent the night at a very pleasant hotel on the outskirts of Caen and after a good meal and early night was called for.

We began our expedition early Sunday morning with a visit to more Gun turrets between Omaha and Gold beaches, these are known locally as
"Le Chaos"

still very much intact

the noise inside these constructions must have been deafening

And so onto Gold beach

This is one of the concrete piers that were towed across the Channel to make the harbour
These things are HUGE and it is hard to believe that they actually floated!!

Once they were in position the lower parts of the constructions were flooded to anchor them to the sea bed.

A naughty visit to a Boulangerie for a bite of breakfast.
A huge Pan au Raisin
And the baguette was purchased for lunch - but didn't last very long!!
some people never change....

The Museum had some brilliant exhibits and a film and slide show showing footage from the time. A lovely French guide talked us through a Diorama  showing how Mulberry Harbour was constructed.
We spent most of the morning at the Museum, a very moving place.  

Photo from d-day
 Records show that 700 lorries were loaded with supplies in ONE HOUR on this harbour!

We also visited Juno Beach (the Canadian landing) and Sword Beach (another British landing)

the Memorial Garden at Sword

 We did not Visit Utah beach, this is much further west and time would not allow on this trip.

As you can see, the weather had improved as the day went on.
We then had the return journey to Calais and the ride home.

I think that the surprise trip went down well with L and we all would like to return - maybe in the spring - for a longer visit to this lovely part of France where there is so much to see, we only just skimmed the surface.

 Thank you to my dear man for driving most of the One thousand miles in two days - as much golf as you like next week.  xxx


  1. Wow! What a trip, and a very memorable in more ways than one.

    1. Wonderful we have done it several times as it where my friends father died in action very emotiional but would go again some thing differant every time you will think about it on Nov 11th. If you can you must go again