Normandy Day Trip?

Old Apr 11th, 2002, 09:09 AM
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Normandy Day Trip?

In June my wife, our 18 yr. g'daughter and I will be spending a week in Paris. Both of them have expressed a desire to see Normandy. Is it worth a day trip? I notice several companies that make the trip. Is there a "better" one?
Thanks for your replys.
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 12:04 PM
Mary Ann
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Hi Carl

In my opinion, if you have the opportunity, you should not miss Normandy. We were there briefly in 1997 with our then 21 year old daughter. We are planning to go back on our next trip with my Brother in Law. Key elements are the Point Du Hoc, the beaches, the Cemetaries and the museum. We visited 2 beaches, the Point, the german cemetary, the American cemetary and Arromanches for lunch. To us it was such a part of history, my father fought in the Pacific and my husband almost went to Viet Nam and to see it, it seems to exemplify the fight for freedom and the cost. It was our daughters 2nd trip (she had been there when she was 16) and she was even further moved. I think it was Omaha that still had the german batterments with the canons that you could walk into. I'm 5'7" and I felt cramped. We never made it to the museum, which is one reason we are going back, it is in Caen and said to be excellent.
I cannot speak for the tours, but read through them and see what aspects they visit. If you know anyone who lost their life there, they do have a terminal that will provide information as to their location at the cemetary or at sea.
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 01:15 PM
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I did it from Paris last year in August 2001. Can't remember the company, our hotel "Le Parc" (Sofitel Hotel Group) set it up, but the company picked up from everywhere. Great company. Call Le Parc Hotel in Paris. They will know. By the way--INCREDIBLE little hotel and in the 16th district, 1 block from the Effil Tower and tucked away. Great price too! Wonderful place! Back to Normandy... Make the key sites, but the museum as well and the movies that are shown there are a must!! I think there are two movies. You have not seen most of the footage, it is wonderful and quite moving and there is a great gift shop. Also, make sure you see the large memorial cemetary. The tour you take should have all of this. Your question is-is it worth it? Without a doubt one of the more moving aspects of Europe, especially as an American and especially now. It is so worth it. You will regret not going.
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 01:21 PM
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My sister and I took a day trip to Caen from Paris by train. I would recommend that you leave as early in the day as possible. Take the bus or taxi from the train station to the museum, where you will be able to schedule tours by mini-bus with an English-speaking guide. There are a variety of tours offered, but you have the most options if you go early in the day. The museum by itself will take an hour or two to really see well. The trip to the invasion beaches and American Cemetary are quite moving.

One note if you tour this way: Be sure you know when the last train to Paris leaves and confirm it upon arrival in Caen. We relied on another American (what do we know!) regarding the time of the last train and ended up staying overnight at a hotel across from the train station because the train we were relying on did not run on the day we were there.
Old Apr 11th, 2002, 01:31 PM
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Hi Carl. I agree that you really should not miss this area of NOrmandy. I don't know if you already have your plans set, but it would be wonderful if you could tack on a night to your trip and travel early one morning to Normandy maybe spend the night and see some of Mt St. Michel the next day.
It really is something to see and not that far from Caen.
You wouldn't be able to do both in one day, though
Old Apr 12th, 2002, 12:35 PM
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Old Apr 12th, 2002, 01:20 PM
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We just got back from France in March of this year and we went to Normandy. I know going there from Paris is feasible. What we did however was train from Paris to Caen very early in the morning. It was only 1 1/2 hours to get there and the scenery was pretty too. We rented a car at Caen and visited the Caen War Memorial. Two hours is sufficient unless you really want to read each and every caption in the museum. My husband was a tad disappointed bucause he expected more hardware than what they exhibited. We then drove to Bayeaux and did a quick tour of the Bayeaux tapestry and stopped to check their magnificent gothic cathedral. Don't miss this because it is almost as awesome as the Notre Dame sans all the tourists. We then drove to the American Cemetery. Now this was a very humbling and sobering experience for my husband, my two young children and myself. We then proceeded to Pointe du hoc. The drive too is pretty nice but then again we went in March and we pretty much had all of Caen and Bayeaux to ourselves literally. And please it behooves you to go to Mont St Michel since you are already that close. It is approximately an hour's drive from Bayeaux. We spent the night at a gorgeous chateau about 30 mins from the Mont. You can see the Mont from their front porch. I believe you can then return your car at Pontorson and then train back to Paris St Lazare. We however proceeded to the Loire Valley. If you have any questions, you can e-mail me. Have a fantastic trip.

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