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-   -   WW2-D-Day Interest (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/ww2-d-day-interest-172149/)

Paul Mar 14th, 2002 11:18 AM

WW2-D-Day Interest
 
I am traveling to GB and then on to France, Belgium, and Germany in late April.I am particularly interested in Normandy, and the path to Berlin in WW2. I'll have a week in London (castles and ???), and then two weeks from Frnace thru Germany. (Normandy, St.Mere-Eglise, Bastogne a must) My Dad was there in WW2. Any suggestions?

Ryan Mar 14th, 2002 11:44 AM

Definately plan on visiting the D-Day Museum in Caen. Both films they show are worth the cost. It is quite interesting. FYI, the cafeteria there is actually quite for where it is.<BR><BR>If you have time, I'd also suggest that you try and make a side-trip to the French army museum in Paris. It is located as Les Invalides (Napolans burial site.) It has a relatively new WWII exhibit that is fantastic. (The most interesting for me was the poster of the German soldier giving chocolate to children with the French language caption "Trust your friendly German soldier".)

Therese Mar 14th, 2002 11:56 AM

I'd visit Pegasus Bridge as well.

ryan Mar 14th, 2002 12:01 PM

Make that "quite good for .."

mike Mar 14th, 2002 12:07 PM

Message Paul:<BR>If you come into Germany around the Metz Or Lorraine area visit the Aorraine American Cemetery in St. Avold France. Buiral place for over 10,000 U.S. servicemen.

mike Mar 14th, 2002 12:14 PM

Paul: That's Lorraine American Cemetery.

Richard Mar 14th, 2002 12:15 PM

Try to visit Pointe du Hoc and the museum in Arromanches. In St. Mere Eglise they still depict John Steele, the paratrooper hung up on the spire. At most street corners they have photos with the view as it was during the war and you look up at the same view. Bastogne didn't show much but the Ardennes are lovely.

Maira Mar 14th, 2002 04:06 PM

Rent a car for the Normandy Region. <BR><BR>Stay at leat a night at Deauville or Trouville. <BR><BR>Plan a visit to Mt. St. Michel; get there very early. <BR><BR>Sample the pastries, as many as you can, specially the ones with apples (I am from NY and never met a pastry I didn't like while in Normandy). <BR><BR>Take your time driving the Normandy Coast. <BR><BR>Read a Stephen Ambrose book (the description by soldiers of the geography and vegetation on "Citizen Soldiers" blew me away). <BR><BR>Stop and reflect once in a while. Let it get to you, it will anyway. <BR><BR>Don't plan anything heavy after touring the coast, it stays with you for a while. <BR><BR>Take your time at the Omaha Beach Museum. <BR><BR>Nowhere in France the locals are friendlier towards Americans than in this region. <BR><BR>I took a small vial of sand with me for my father. He was not a D-Day Veteran, but he was a Vet and loved this country immensely. I put it on his pocket before he was buried. <BR><BR>Thanks for letting me share.

Jean Mar 14th, 2002 05:11 PM

Just a couple of suggestions:<BR><BR>If your focus is D-Day, leave Mont St. Michel and Douville/Trouville for another trip. St. Mere-Eglise has almost entirely dedicated itself to commemorating its D-Day liberation (i.e., they know how to attract American tourists). Small museum (opposite the church) is good, but strategically the town had little significance. <BR><BR>Suggest Bayeux as a base for exploring D-Day sights. The town was not bombed, so the cathedral and central area are "original" construction. Chateau d'Argouges at less than $100 is charming and very comfortable.<BR><BR>Visit U.S. Cemetery above Omaha Beach. At 2:00 p.m. during our visit, a French Mirage jet flew off the coast at cliff level opposite the cemetery. We were told this was a daily salute. <BR><BR>Do not miss the Peace Museum in Caen, and if possible read Steven Ambrose's book "D-Day" before or during your trip.<BR>At the museum we found very helpful brochures for suggested driving tours for D-Day sights throughout Normandy(including those inland from the beaches). <BR><BR>Haven't been to Bastogne in many years, but I remember there wasn't much there to see that commemorated the Battle. The place was bombed relentlessly so I don't think there was much to "preserve." If you're intent on following the Allied advance, however, I guess you must at least make your pilgrimage.

Top Mar 17th, 2002 09:26 AM

Topper

Paul Mar 21st, 2002 10:20 AM

Thank you very much for the information. As I said originally, my dad was there in WW2, and being a proud and patiotic American veteran myself, I will visit the cemeteries to pay my respects. Now if I can just figure out how to find some nice B&B's across France and into Germany. I would prefer them over hotels, as I want to get a feel for the people and country!!!

Linda Mar 21st, 2002 12:48 PM

Paul: Check out Karen Brown's B&B books. I've used them 3 or 4 times and highly recommend them.

karen Mar 21st, 2002 02:56 PM

We've had wonderful experience with Alistair Sawday's books on B&Bs in France - also the Fodor's "Rivages" series on B&Bs. We loved touring the Battle of Normandy sites and hope to return to do some more someday.

Kim Mar 22nd, 2002 05:59 AM

If you only have one day to explore the D-Day sites - where would you start?

Paul Mar 22nd, 2002 10:02 AM

Kim, luckily I will be spending as much time as I need to see Normandy. But! If I only had one day, I would start at the cemeteries, to pay my respects, and to see the enormity of losses paid by our relatives to keep our world free. Then to the beaches themselves, and "some" of the monuments. I will be renting a car, so I will see much of what I want to see. If it takes three or four days, well then, so be it!

Barbara Mar 22nd, 2002 10:26 AM

I strongly recommend Colonel Chilcott's B&B in Bayuex. We stayed there a few years ago. He is a retired British Colonel who is also a historian. Conducts tours of the invasion sites. The town is lovely. Shouldn't miss the tapestry at the cathredral.

Paul Mar 22nd, 2002 12:58 PM

Kim, luckily I will be spending as much time as I need to see Normandy. But! If I only had one day, I would start at the cemeteries, to pay my respects, and to see the enormity of losses paid by our relatives to keep our world free. Then to the beaches themselves, and "some" of the monuments. I will be renting a car, so I will see much of what I want to see. If it takes three or four days, well then, so be it!

Topper Apr 18th, 2002 12:15 AM

Topping

Lynn Apr 23rd, 2002 10:45 AM

Does it make sense to take a train from Paris to Rouen or Caen and rent a car there, or should we just rent in Paris and drive to Normandy (that's what I did about 10 years ago)? We're planning to fly into Paris, spend a few days, then travel around Normandy for a few days (probably headquartered in Bayeux), before returning the car - somewhere - and heading on to London. Any suggestions?


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