Day 5: Normandy Beaches

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Of all the sights and experiences for this trip, I was most looking forward to today.

It was an early rising day, up at 6, breakfast on the ship, and the busses departed at 8. We had a 2 hour ride to the beaches of Normandy. It began to twin as we approached the coast, and then turn into a wet snow. It wasn’t very pleasant out, and I really hoped it would clear up by the time we got to the cemetery.

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Our first stop was the Musee de Debarquement. We learned of the complete port built in England and floated to France, allowing for supplies to be provided to the troops coming on shore. Fascinating.

The whole tour had lunch at Brasserie Left 6 Juin down the street from the museum. Decent meal given the out of the way location.

I really liked the Batterie De Longues Sur Mer. I messed up my camera settings there so this came out, otherwise look at their website. The German guns in concrete, impenetrable bunkers were soberi

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Next was the Normandy American Cemetery and Museum. As many pictures as you’ve seen of the rows of crosses, it is still a stunning sight. Our tour guide made a little speech when we got there, we had a moment of silence and then sang the National Anthem. So moving.

I was taken by the Jewish stars that appeared here and there. I left a stone on a couple of them.

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Our last stop was down on the Omaha Beach. The memorial for the 60th anniversary of D-Day was an interesting metal sculpture, so different from the usual marble.

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Then it was time for the 2 hour trip to return to Rouen. We had of course booked dinner in town, at what may be the oldest restaurant in France, where Julia Child developed her love of French cooking. If you have been in business since 1345, you must be doing something right. The restaurant was La Couonne. We had the prix fix meal for only €35. I had an appetizer of tuna in lemon sauce, Ellen had duck pâté. We both had duck in a berry sauce with cabbage and asparagus. When i commented go Ellen that she was having a lot of duck, she responded: “That’s one tasty little quacker!” Ellen loved the cheese course that followed. And Ellen had a chocolate dessert, I had ice cream with fresh fruit.

The dining room we ate in was wood timbered, dark and red with wooden ceiling beams. The waiters were formal and an older woman who was host for the night walked among the tables, talking with everyone. She spoke English with us, asking where we were from and how we enjoyed the meal. It was an experience of a meal, French fancy as opposed to French simple at the bistro yesterday. But we definitely like Rouen and could have found more restaurants to dine at.

Tomorrow is mostly sailing, with a visit to one small town along the way. To our horrors, we learned we will have to eat all 3 meals on the ship tomorrow! It should be fine as we start our return to Parris.

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