A truly amazing sight on the horizon - Mont St. Michel.
Playing on Omaha Beach
Now for the details:
I'm behind a few days in my blogging but am happy to report a fantastic Internet connection here in Brugge, Belgium.
July 21st - D-Day Sights and Bayeux
It was a good 90-minute drive to the D-Day beaches from our gite. We were getting worn down by the long driving distances to every attraction! Our gite was just too far out to be truly convenient. Despite this, we had a great day and saw some astounding sights.
We began our day at Arromanches where we saw the remarkable Port Winston Artificial Harbor. Incredible how a harbor was created with old sunken ships and cement blocks (hauled across the channel). You can still see many parts of the makeshift harbor.
It started out as a nasty rainy day so I don't have the greatest picture of this:
Then we watched a powerful movie in a 360 degree theater called "The Price of Freedom". It really set the tone for the day. Even our young girls seemed to appreciate how serious the history was.
We stopped at the Longues-sur-Mer Gun Battery. These were the remnants of four German casemates with guns intact. The guns were designed to hit targets 12 miles away. The Allies did some serious damage to these.
Next we stopped at Omaha Beach for a picnic. It's hard to imagine this lovely beach being the horrific scene it was on June 6. 1944. We reflected on how lucky we were to picnic and play freely. We also felt much pride seeing the American flag flying everywhere.
Next we paid our respects at the WWII American Cemetery. We had to laugh when we saw our first drinking fountains on our entire trip! Once we were inside (we had to pass through security), we saw a very informative display that we wished we had had more time to appreciate. Outside of the visitor center, we saw the white crosses that went on and on.
It was chilling when some bells came on and played the American National Anthem. Everyone stopped and was either silent or hummed along. Definitely a goosebump moment.
We were all feeling impacted by this visit yet had to move on. We stopped in the nearby town of Bayeux which miraculously escaped WWII bombing. We decided to get DD#1 some new shoes. A word of warning about Skechers Twinkle Toes - these are cute flashy shoes that aren't meant to be walked in. Both my DDs' Twinkle Toes have fallen to pieces. I'll take a picture and post sometime - I also want to send Skechers a little note..... Anyway, we found some cute Keds for DD#1.
We were very impressed with the huge cathedral in Bayeux!
DD#2 thought the crypt was fascinating.
We found a nice place for dinner after our long day of sight-seeing.
We splurged again and had real courses! My first one was sea snails. I thought I'd ordered scallops so I was rather surprised. Luckily, I actually liked them!
A few other pics from this yummy meal:
We had a peaceful ride home and had our first night driving. It was a long and fulfilling day!
July 22 - More food, swimming. Last day in Normandy.
It was yet ANOTHER rainy day. We had such disappointing weather while in Normandy. We had a lazy morning and finally decided to drive to another little town for lunch and to use their indoor pool.
We found a random little brasserie where I lucked out with a yummy fish plat du jour!
The girls were good sports in these French restaurants. They shared a croque monsieur.
We picked a pool because I had seen a picture of the great waterslide. Upon arrival, it was closed for technical reasons. We still had fun playing in the pool.
DD#2 had fun on another basket swing in the town park.
We stopped at another grocery store for snacks and dinner supplies. We made dinner at the gite, packed up, and were eager to move on tomorrow!
July 23rd - Mont St. Michel!
After three hour drive, we saw this amazing sight...
A pretty nice view for our picnic lunch!
We visited a biscuit (cookie) factory with tons of free samples. We stocked up on some of these famous biscuits.
After dealing with some rather challenging behavior from DD#2, we also managed to kill time and avoid the ridiculous crowds that descend on Mont St. Michel in the afternoon. We arrived around 5pm. It was truly a magical place to explore. The girls remembered that this place was fictionalized in the movie "Tangled". They were looking for Rapunzel everywhere!
Pretty posing girl:
It was hard to stop taking pictures!
Finally - goodbye to Mont St. Michel
We're in Belgium now and absolutely love where we're staying. The people, food, and beverage are out of this world! There are other children here and our kids are very happy. I'm a couple days behind but will catch up tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!