Sunday, July 21st, 2019
We left our hotel at 9:00 and our first stop was the Normandy American Cemetery with our step-on guide Sean. The cemetery looks over Omaha Beach.
It covers 72 1/2 acres and contains the graves of more than 9,380. On the walls of the missing are the names of more than 1,500 and rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. We toured the grounds and visited the Visitor’s Center.
At the Visitor Center at the Cemetery you’ll see another map of the beaches from D-Day and a reflecting/infinity pool overlooking Omaha Beach
After the cemetery we had lunch and then visited Omaha Beach and the memorials located there. The stainless steel sculpture “Les Braves” commemorates American soldiers.
There are remains of some of the German bunkers.
We also stopped at Pointe du Hoc.
It is a 100-foot cliff overlooking the English Channel on the NW coast of Normandy. During WWII it was the highest point between the American sector landings at Utah beach to the west and Omaha beach to the east. The memorial here was placed by the French to honor elements of the American Second Ranger Battalion under the command of Lt. Col. James E. Rudder. His unit scaled these cliffs and seized the German artillery pieces that could fire on American troops landing at Omaha and Utah beaches. The Battalion suffered a lot of casualties.
The terrain was still very uneven with the artillery craters still there. The French government has maintained as is!
When we arrived back in Bayeux we had some free time before dinner.
We visited the Norman-Gothic Cathedral Notre-Dame (built in the 13th century).
The 1,000 year old (11th century) tapestry depicting the 1066 Norman invasion of England was incredible. It is almost 230 feet long, made of linen and it is listed as a “world heritage” site by UNESCO. We could not take pictures of it but it you get an opportunity check it out on the internet.
We had a wonderful dinner of beef burgundy at a local restaurant!
After dinner we walked to the Bayeux War Cemetery which is the largest WWII cemetery of Commonwealth soldiers in France. It contains 4,648 burials and most are from the invasion of Normandy.
Today we had 16,972 steps, 6.82 miles, and 3 flights.