Memorial Day weekend at Normandy

Apr 19th, 2002, 11:47 AM
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Lin
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Memorial Day weekend at Normandy

Hi -- I live in Germany on a military base and am traveling with my family (3 school age kids, me, and husband) to Normandy from the 25th (early in the day) to the 28th of May. We are staying at a B&B in Cambremer, and will be driving our own vehicle. We want to see the D-Day sights, as well as the Bayeux tapestry. Can anyone suggest an itinerary? Do the stores, restaurants, etc. close up on Sundays, as in Germany? Thanks for any advice you may have to offer!

Lin
 
Apr 19th, 2002, 08:01 PM
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ttt
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 07:25 AM
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ttt
 
Apr 20th, 2002, 07:52 AM
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MBrown
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Yes the majority of the stores are closed on sunday. You will find most restaurants open for sunday lunch and some open for dinner.

Here are my must sees and are all appealing to children as well as adults.

POINTE DE HOC

Be sure to visit the Pointe du Hoc. American soldiers scaled steep ocean cliffs under enemy fire to secure this area. The terrain has been left as it was at the end of the war and is very damaged from the bombing. There are also a few German bunkers to climb around in. The views are beautiful and it is an impressive reminder of the destruction of war.

AMERICAN CEMETARY

The American Cemetary is located near Colleville-sur-Mer. It is well indicated so you wont miss it. This is the cemetary that was show in Saving Private Ryan. It is truely beautiful and moving.

LONGUES SUR MER

A German gun installation is located here on the cliffs overlooking the channel. It appears that we didnt bomb this site to well as the buildings are largely intact. Several of the large guns are still there although a bit rusty.

ARROMANCHES

It was in this town that the Allied forces created an artificial port. You can still see many of the giant cement barricades that were used to create the port. They are both in the ocean and out on the beach. This artifical port was key to the Allied forces success. The Germans expected the Allies to attempt to take a port city such as Le Havre or Cherbourg. They had therefore heavily fortified them. The Germans were therefore caught by surprise in a less protected area of the coast.

CAEN MEMORIAL

This is a museum about WW2. There are 3 excellent films that explain the normandy invasion as well as many items from the war such as an american jeep. They just opened a huge expansion two weeks ago which unfortunately opened 1 week after i was there. Their web site is http://www.memorial-caen.fr. Tuesday is the school children field trip day so dont go then as it is packed.

Have a great trip!
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 06:51 AM
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VickiV
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We live in Stuttgart and are doing the same thing in June. I bought the book "Major & Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide to the Normandy Landing Beaches" and it is awesome. If you get this one (Amazon or Barnes&Noble.com) you will know exactly what you want to see, and it comes with a map. Good luck, and let us know about the shops on Sunday!
 
Apr 30th, 2002, 07:49 AM
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Debbie
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Hi. We were also military living in Germany when we did the same trip a couple of years ago. We actually added Monet's Giverny as our first leg of the trip, visiting a picturesque apple cider farm in that area also. We stayed in Vernon our first night. We also visited the picturesque sea village of Honfleur, Bayeaux (saw the tapestry--my husband loved that history), visited the American Cemetary, Pointe du Hoc, and a couple of war museums in the Caen (?) and Bayeaux area. We also drove from Caen (sp.?)down through the Swiss Normandy region staying in Clecy for the night. We ended our trip with a visit to Mt. Saint Micheal. We actually went the same long weekend as you are doing and there were wonderful French pageantry parades at Mt. Saint Michael. My spelling is awful on these monuments, sorry, just going from memory on this one. But if you would like, I will post my travel write up for more accurate details or email it to you. Tell me what part of Germany you are traveling from and how many nights you are actually able to stay in the Normandy area. I will assist with hotel suggestions if interested. We mixed romance with the history on our trip (no children at the time). I also wrote to the regional tourism office in Normandy and they gave me all the maps for the D-Day sights and a guidebook for quaint places to stay--all basically sent overnight to our German address. All my addresses for these resources I found in the Stars and Stripes. Boy, we envy you. You will have a marvelous time! We miss Germany and Europe so-oo much. Good luck and happy travels. What a wonderful education for your children.
 
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