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Normandy trip

Old 12-29-2017, 07:02 AM
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Default Normandy trip

My son and I are huge history buffs.
We both greatly admire the sacrifices and impact on our lives that era gave us. Admiral is talking about a spring trip and mentioned France/Normandy. I love the idea but am a little nervous about traveling there, particularly in a tour/tour bus setting.
Anyone ever go? If so how did you like it? Where’d you stay and did you go in a group?

Thanks
Bill
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:58 AM
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subbed. Bucket list item for me.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:04 AM
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Originally Posted by autobaun70 View Post
subbed. Bucket list item for me.
excellent! I'm sure others have experienced it.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:21 AM
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Never been there, but I've recently (within the past two years) became fascinated with world war 2, so to me, that would be a very interesting destination. If you haven't been to the Arizona memorial in Pearl Harbor, I highly recommend that. Also Arlington cemetery. Nothing will bring you down to earth more so, or put you at a greater loss for words than to visit those places and think about what the brave men and woman of our military faced.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:22 AM
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We rented a car in Paris. Stopped at Monet's home then drove to Normandy We hit the WW2 museum in Caen, then drove to Bayeax.. We stayed in a cheap hotel in town. In the morning we had a guide pick us up in a van. We went to Pointe du Hoc, Omaha beach and the American cemetery. Although we only spent a day and half there, it was one of the highlights of our 15 day trip. 4 teenagers. They all enjoyed/appreciated it.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:32 AM
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Why are your nervous?
Bucket list for me, my grandfather fought over there I'd like to retrace his steps.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:45 AM
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Was there two years ago with a group/tour bus. Great trip, leaves you pretty humble. Personally prefer a tour, seem to get a lot more information and access compared to doing it on your own.
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Old 12-29-2017, 08:55 AM
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Did a cruise from Paris to Honfleur and back. Normandy was the highlight. Incredibly powerful experience.
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Old 12-29-2017, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by scout11 View Post
We rented a car in Paris. Stopped at Monet's home then drove to Normandy We hit the WW2 museum in Caen, then drove to Bayeax.. We stayed in a cheap hotel in town. In the morning we had a guide pick us up in a van. We went to Pointe du Hoc, Omaha beach and the American cemetery. Although we only spent a day and half there, it was one of the highlights of our 15 day trip. 4 teenagers. They all enjoyed/appreciated it.
This os essentially what we are doing in late June but going to and staying in Bayeux.

Wolters world has a you tube channel on travel and had some seemingly good recommendations on Normandy, the key museums, etc that we are using as a guide.

Unless you are a huge history buff I would try to visit some other local attractions. The Mont is not too far from there for example.
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Old 12-29-2017, 11:37 AM
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Everyone needs to go there. Allow a lot of time, I could have easily spend 3-4 hours in just the main building. Incredible experience.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:02 PM
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Went to Paris, it wasn't for me, but I took a train to Normandy. Was one of the highlights of my life. Took a private tour, and walked the beaches alone for a little while. It's an amazing experience and truly a sobering moment for me. Read up on it and watch as many documentaries about it before you go. It will make the experience that much more meaningful.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:03 PM
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. Does anyone have a tour guide service or company to recommend?

Would a travel agency be a.good way to go?

Last edited by round2it; 12-29-2017 at 12:08 PM.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:09 PM
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My wife and MIL made the trip this year. Her mom is into genealogy and it turns out there are a few Nazis buried near there that are somehow related to my wife's family. For some reason this did not shock me. LOL On the other side of the war her paternal grandfather earned a silver star on IWO. As a Marine, that is my bucket list visit.
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Old 12-29-2017, 12:11 PM
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Went to Paris, it wasn't for me, but I took a train to Normandy. Was one of the highlights of my life. Took a private tour, and walked the beaches alone for a little while. It's an amazing experience and truly a sobering moment for me. Read up on it and watch as many documentaries about it before you go. It will make the experience that much more meaningful.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:23 PM
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crazycarl. i agree about the documentaries. Interestingly, I read that the John Wayne film "The Longest Day" is amazingly accurate. They had a bunch of guys who were actually there on D day consulting on the film. Ill try to dig up the tour company we used.
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Old 12-29-2017, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by STEELA View Post
My son and I are huge history buffs.
We both greatly admire the sacrifices and impact on our lives that era gave us. Admiral is talking about a spring trip and mentioned France/Normandy. I love the idea but am a little nervous about traveling there, particularly in a tour/tour bus setting.
Anyone ever go? If so how did you like it? Where’d you stay and did you go in a group?

Thanks
Bill
Good friend of mine has been numerous times. He's a big WW II history buff. We've been thinking about going so I asked him for his suggestions. He's NOT a fan of the guided tours. Here's his suggestion;

Ste-Mere-Eglise, France – try to find a hotel close by and start your tour the following morning in this beautiful little town. Ste-Mere-Eglise is the most famous town for D-Day / WWII history buffs in France. The objective was to originally be taken by the 82nd Airborne but with the scattered parachute drops many 101st Airborne troopers also fought here. The town has many little shops around the gothic Church that is central to the town square as most small French towns. The Airborne Museum (Musée Airborne) is next to the church and is dedicated to the memory of American paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions who parachuted into Normandy on the night of June 5–6, 1944. Recommend watching the movie “The Longest Day” starring John Wayne, Henry Fonda and many of the top actors of that timeframe. It prominently features the battle around Ste-Mere-Eglise. Suspect you’ll spend a good half day in this town.



Then drive approximately 20 minutes to Utah Beach- and the Utah Beach Museum-Recommend that you go directly to the Museum because that is the central point to Utah Beach and you can see the most in the tightest area. Built on the very beach where the first American troops landed on June 6, 1944, the Utah Beach Museum recounts the story of D-Day in 10 sequences, from the preparation of the landing, to the final outcome and success. This comprehensive chronological journey immerses visitors in the history of the landing through a rich collection of objects, vehicles, materials, and oral histories. Admire an original B26 bomber, one of only six remaining examples of this airplane still in existence worldwide, and relive the epic experience of American soldiers through the film “Victory in the Sand,” that won a ton of awards for best museum documentary. By the end of your visit, you will understand the strategic choices for the Allied invasion of Normandy and the reasons for the success at Utah Beach. This is my personal favorite museum but allow some time to walk on the beach and also see the many monuments just outside the museum to the troopers that fought on this beach.

These two sites will take most of the first day up but I think you will have time to stop at points of interest that you will see as you drive around. This area is covered with small café’s as well as little museums and artifact stores. If time allows I would recommend visiting the Liberation Museum in the little town of Saint-Marie-du-Mont. Located opposite the church right in the town square, this museum houses a collection of uniforms, weapons, equipment and a few American and German vehicles. Captured trophies and objects from excavations of the battlefield where the paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division faced the German troops. Saint-Marie-du-Mont was the main objective of the 101st Airborne and particularly Easy Company, 506th PIR made famous by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks 10 part HBO mini-series “Band of Brothers”. Definitely recommend watching the 10 hours worth of “Band Of Brothers” – my personal all time favorite historically based drama.

At the end of the day recommend driving approximately 40 minutes toward Omaha Beach and finding a hotel on that area. Omaha Beach is where the heaviest and most costly battle took place for American forces. Comparatively Utah Beach was a much easier objective to take that Omaha.

Recommend starting the day at Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial which is located in Colleville-sur-Mer, on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 as the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its half mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,385 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified. The Cemetery stretches along the bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. Recommend watch “Saving Private Ryan” before visiting this cemetery as it is featured prominently in the open scene as the aged veteran (Private Ryan) visits the grave of his friends and the character played by Tom Hanks in the movie. While this is a fictional movie it is based on many historical facts. Be prepared for an emotional visit. I’ve been to this museum 20-25 times and still get goose bumps!
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Old 12-29-2017, 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by crazycarl7 View Post
Went to Paris, it wasn't for me, but I took a train to Normandy..
You did what I wished I would have done while in Paris. Went in 2013 to Paris and I wanted to take the train to Normandy for a day but no one else wanted to go. I seriously thought about going by myself, but didn't. I don't have many regrets in life but that's one of them.
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by WPBTH View Post
Why are your nervous?
Bucket list for me, my grandfather fought over there I'd like to retrace his steps.
Large targets of Americans in one Tour

Oh and you guys are awesome
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Old 12-29-2017, 03:18 PM
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I’m not sure I could keep it together being there where so many fellow Americans made the ultimate sacrifice. I’m pretty sure I’d be a blubbering mess.
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Old 12-29-2017, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by andyp262 View Post
I’m not sure I could keep it together being there where so many fellow Americans made the ultimate sacrifice. I’m pretty sure I’d be a blubbering mess.
I teared up just reading your post
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