Our tour lasted a whole day and we got to see a lot of the sights attributed to America’s part during the Battle of Normandy. There were other tours that took visitors to the British and Canadian beaches as well, but we didn’t have time for those.
Quite a lot of fighting happened in this town during the Battle of Normandy. As a tribute to the paratroopers, there is now a model of a hanging paratrooper on the side of the church.
This place was also featured as a mission in the Call of Duty Series and here too I could see a lot of resemblance.
Museum of the Airborne
This museum is dedicated to the paratroopers during the Battle of Normandy. The biggest exhibit there was the C-47, the plane that the paratroopers flew in before they dropped.
The museum is situated just outside the church in the city centre.
The guide explained that at the time, during the Battle of Normandy, the water level was much higher and the bridge was the only way across the river. The American paratroopers withstood fierce German counterattacks before they finally defended the bridge successfully.
As always, there is a monument of some sort.
This was probably one of the beaches with the lightest amount of fighting, relatively as opposed to Omaha beach. The bunkers here are also gone just like at Omaha.
Here’s a pretty artistic shot of a Flak 88 and the horizon.
This church was a field hospital during the Battle of Normandy. The guide said the church was built around 425 AD, but other sources say its from the 12th century.
In the church, there are still some scars from the fighting. In particular, there is a patched up hole from where a mortar shell once dropped. It seems it was stuck in the ceiling and never exploded.
Some of the church pews still have blood stains on them.
Driving Back to London
On the way back to London, we stopped at the Canadian World War I memorial at Vimy Ridge. After that, we drove back to France. At the border, the British border guard gave us such a hard time. She kept asking questions like, “why are you travelling?”, “where are you getting the money for this trip?”, “what do you do for a living?”, etc. I didn’t think we looked that suspicious.
When we first drove to France, Edward drove for most of it, but on the way back, I wanted to try driving in London just to see what it felt like. Every moment of the drive was quite stressful for me.
The weird part was that because the lanes are narrower, the driver almost always naturally leans to the left side of the lane and the left side mirror is over the lane divider. Through construction sites, we’d drive past the orange traffic cones and if those were a tad bit taller, the mirror would have hit them. We both ran up the curb a few times during the drive too. Luckily, we returned the car in one piece and without and scratches or dents.
Links to photo albums: