Exploring Normandy

We left Bordeaux 7 days ago. A TGV train brought us to Paris for lunch (!!!) and our next leg brought us north to Trouville-Deauville, along the Atlantic/English Chanel in Normandy.

If you’re interested in mapping it out (loosely), here are the main points of our trip so far: Frankfurt – Strasbourg – Lyon – Avignon – SΓ¨te – Carcassone – Toulouse – Bordeaux – Trouville – Arromanche – Grandcamp Maisy – Quivenville (as of today).

We have given ourselves 10 days to make a trek around the Normandy coast, exploring the countryside, DDay beaches, museums and ending at Mont-St-Michel before heading into Brittany.

The six days in Normandy so far have been really lovely. The ocean, the small towns and country roads have been a ton of fun to explore and bike. The history, from William the Conquerer to World War II, has shaped this part of France – both in culture and landscape. Yesterday, we went to Pointe du Hoc and walked through the pockmarked fields that Allied bombs created. 

It was particularly moving to walk through physical reminders of World War II, to think of the scope and impact of total war and lives lost, and to then to hear about the terrorist attack in southern France. Murders, war and loss of life because of intense, warped ideologies… Have humans learned nothing from previous mistakes? 

But! Staying positive & sharing more details on our trip:

Day 1: Trouville-Deauville to Pegasus Bridge, seeing Sword Beach along the way

Day 2: Day trip to Caen, stopped in at William the Conquerer’s chateau & the Normandy Memorial museum (goes by another name)

Day 3: Pegasus Bridge to Arromanche, stopping at Juno Beach & Gold Beach along the way

Day 4: Left gear @ camp, biked to Omaha Beach  & American Memorial Cemetery. This was an especially important visit, as Adam has family buried in the cemetery who died in World War II.

Day 5: biked from Arromanche to Bayeaux to see the Tapestry of Bayeaux, an embroidered telling of how William the Conquerer became king of England. It’s ~1,000 years old and incredibly well-done and preserved. From Bayeaux, we biked on through country roads and cow country and small villages to get further northwest on the coast, to Grandcamp-Maisy. 

Day 6: Grandcamp-Maisy to Carentan, north to Utah Beach. Northwest to the Airborne Soldier Museum, particularly of interest to me because my youngest brother is 82nd Airborne and that division was part of the DDay assault in 1944. From there, northeast to Quineville for camp.

Today closed out our tour of DDay operations, history etc. Adam remarked that we have essentially covered DDay in its entirety, starting with Pegasus Bridge to Utah Beach. 

 

Looking out on the Atlantic from old batteries

  

Pegasus Bridge

  

    

German artillery remains, part of the “Atlantic Wall” at Lounges-sur-Mer

Looking over Arromanche

Visiting the grave of Private Thomas Trimble. His sister was Adam’s father’s godmother, their families were very close. This was a moving visit.

  

Remainders of the Mulberry Harbor

  

Sunset over the Normandy Beaches

  

Pointe du Hoc

   

Bike routes through the country

  

Utah Beach monument

  

Airborne Museum

  

Having a blast on country roads in Normandy!

  

One thought on “Exploring Normandy

  1. Stacia says:

    This last set of pics is really great. I like the one of your two bikes by the beach and the last one– must have been warm! πŸ™‚

    Like

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