Penny's Passion: Paris - Day Deux

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Paris - Day Deux

Welcome to Thinking Out Loud Thursday.  I'm continuing my recap of vacation and I'm thinking out loud about our trip to Normandy today.

Day two of vacation started bright and early.  We had booked a tour to Normandy from ParisCityVisions and the driver was picking us up at the hotel at 6:30 am.  Just a side note - you can go through Ebates to book any of the tours through ParisCityVisions and earn 2.5% cash back.  Bonus!

Our driver was right on time, we loaded up in the van and picked up a few other people at their hotels before arriving at the ParisCityVisions headquarters.  There we were routed to the luxury air-conditioned coach that would be transporting us to Normandy.

Touring Normandy was on Eric's top five things he wanted to do while we were in France.  We chose to do this tour on Monday because our plan was to get museum passes which had to be used on consecutive days, which meant if we went to Normandy on Monday we would have Tuesday through Friday to use our four-day museum passes.

After the two plus hour drive northwest of Paris, we arrived in the Caen and toured the Caen Memorial Museum.  This museum is dedicated to the D-Day landings and the Second World War.  Most of the displays focused on the British liberation of the city.  Honestly, we both agreed we could have skipped this portion of the tour.

Lunch was included in our tour, which as served at this museum.  The food was not blog worthy and was very disappointing.  Take me back to the cafes to Paris!  By the expressions on our fellow tourists, I got the impression they were thinking the same thoughts.  The saving grace to the whole meal was the wine!

After lunch, we loaded up and headed to Pointe du Hoc, the American Rangers' landing site.  Pointe du Hoc is the only location to still house the German emplacements from the Atlantic wall. To stand in the very spot the enemy stood, shooting at our troops was unnerving.  I can't begin to comprehend how those men felt on that June day.

Over seventy years later, the landscape is dotted with the huge craters left from the heavy artillery and aerial bombardment.

Our next destination was Omaha Beach.  On our drive to Omaha Beach, many of the homes along the way flew the American Flag.  It made me so proud to be an American.

The most touching of our stops for me was the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer.  To see rows and rows of headstones representing our American soldiers who lost their lives defending our country was almost overwhelming.  This pristine 172.5 acre cemetery holds 9,387 American lives.

If you've seen the movie Saving Private Ryan, you know that two of the Niland brothers had died.  They are buried side by side at this American Cemetery.  They are just one of 45 set of brothers buried here.

Our time was really not long enough at this site to explore the grounds and museum as thoroughly as we would have liked.  We rushed through the museum and was sad we didn't have more time to view the exhibits.  What we did see was very impressive.  

On our trip back to Paris, you couldn't help but reflect on the sacrifices our soldiers and their families made to ensure the freedoms we enjoy today.  Seeing the actual locations where battles were fought and men had lost their lives was such a humbling experience.  

So what's on your mind today?  Feel free to link up below and share what you are thinking out loud about today.


  1. What an awesome experience and trip! I can't believe there's still craters!

  2. It must have been so sobering to walk where so many lost their lives - what a wonderful experience to see this area though.

  3. So amazing to see Normandy up close. I'm sure it was a reflective experience. Love all the pictures!
    The Beth Next Door

  4. You guys are like us...we try to visit do much when on vacation to really explore. Love the pics!

  5. Hallowed ground has a vibe, doesn't it? Where history happens, where you feel the pull of significant events. Thanks for sharing the experience. And for hosting the linkup!

  6. This is fascinating. Thank you. Great pictures!

  7. Sounds like a really wonderful experience to have! My sister has been there - she's a history major so it was through a study abroad trip. I know she loved seeing it!


  8. What an amazing trip! I've always wanted to visit Normandy and see some of these places. Thank you for sharing these photos from your travels!

  9. Wow, what an amazing place to visit. Such history there. Thanks for sharing this. It must have been such a experience to be there.