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One of the big deciding factors on my husband and I taking a trip to France was that we would visit Normandy and learn about D-Day and World War II and the huge impact it had on the country.
My husband is a history biff, and I have also become more of one since I have gotten older. We both enjoy learning more about different countries and cultures. World War II had an impact no only on France but many other countries!
We booked a D-Day tour that took us to the museum in Normandy and then to several other locations that were important to World War II and D-Day. We also enjoyed an amazing lunch at the museum (included)!
We had an amazing tour guide and a great group of people that made this tour one of the best things we did the entire time we were in France.
Our first adventure of the day was finding the tour guides (and the rest of our group) at the train station in Caen!
Once we found our group, we traveled by bus to the World War II museum. The museum was called Memorial De Caen. It went through all the different eras of World War II, explained how it started, the events during the war, and the results of the war.
I enjoyed having a tour guide because he was able to go explain things further that we saw in the museum. It was like you see in the movies, we all wore headsets, and the tour guide would speak into a microphone so we could all hear him!
There is an underground bunker at the museum! It was used by the Germans during World War II. We were able to go down and explore the bunker. It was really neat to see an area that the Germans used many years ago!
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The next place we went on our tour was Pointe Du Hoc. It was amazing to see this battlefield because they have left it intact from when it was discovered after WWII. There are huge craters from bombs that were dropped, and there are a few German bunkers left.
There is one that you can look out and see what the Germans would have seen from the bunker. The view is amazing, and the cliffs are astounding! Click here to learn more about Pointe Du Hoc and it’s significance to WWII.
It was very windy up on the cliffs!
The World War II Pointe Du Hoc Ranger Monument stands in honor of the American Second Ranger Battalion.
After visiting Pointe Du Hoc, we traveled over to Omaha beach. Omaha beach was one of the landing areas during WWII that the allies used during the D-Day invasion.
Once again, it was very windy!
Les Braves Memorial is located on the shore of Omaha Beach. It commemorates the fallen American soldiers of WWII.
According to the Traces of War Website, “The memorial represents three elements: The Wings of Hope, Rise Freedom, and the Wings Of Fraternity. French sculptor Anilore Banon, created the monument in 2004, commissioned by the French government to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion Of Normandy. In the center, there are seven stainless steel columns and a group of five columns that curve upwards, two columns stand upright, with the tallest reaching 30 feet. Stainless steel wings gracefully stand on both sides.”
After we spent time at Omaha Beach, we traveled over to Arromanches, where an artificial harbor from WWII is located. The allies established and used this harbor to unload heavy equipment. We spent some time there and watched a very informative video before heading to our last destination of the tour.
The last place we went to on our tour was very moving! I have never seen anything like it. We visited the Normandy American Cemetery located in Colleville-Sur-Mer, Normandy, France
There are more than 9,000 graves to honor the American soldiers who died during WWII to help save the lives of those in Europe. There is also a wall of the Missing that honors over 1,000 soldiers whose bodies have yet to be found. There is a rose marking the names that have been found and identified since. If you have a family member(s) that is buried in this cemetery, they will have a special ceremony for you and your family if you visit!
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You can get information on the American Cemetery at their website here.
This tour was one of my favorite things we did during our stay in France! I learned so much and got to see first-hand the areas that were impacted so deeply by WWII. If you are planning a trip to France, I highly recommend doing a tour like this!
Have you taken a trip like this? What were your favorite parts? Drop a comment below because I would love to hear about them!
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Until next time,