After lunch we headed to Sainte-Mere-Eglise, the first town liberated by the Allied Forces. As paratroopers descended from the sky into the small village, American soldier, John Steele was hit by shrapnel and landed on the church tower in the village. He then spent two and half hours dangling from the church tower. There is a replica of John Steele hanging from the church tower as if the church and town have stopped time.
From there we headed to Pointe du Hoc. This 100 foot cliff was the highest point in between Utah and Omaha Beaches.
The German troops were ready at Pointe du Hoc to defend Normandy from the Allied attack.
The US Army was able to successfully take over and secure the area after scaling the cliffs and fighting off the Germans.
A number of the bunkers still remain, it was very interesting to walk the grounds and see the remains from that battle.
I walked over to the cliffs to check out exactly how high up they were. The view was stunning, peaceful and so relaxing.
While taking in this peaceful view, it was hard to imagine the battle and resulting death that took place at such a beautiful location.
Something we should remember in every day life, no matter how beautiful or peaceful somewhere may be, terrible things can happen anywhere. We must enjoy the beauty that is life as we never know what may happen, none of us are immune to heartbreak in life no matter how invincible we may think we are.
After Pointe du Hoc, we headed over to the American Cemetery. If you would like to read more on that, please check out this blog: https://beyondthemilestravelblog.com/2020/06/14/remembering-d-day-part-2-the-cemeteries/
Then we made our last stop of the day at Omaha Beach. The landings at this beach were necessary to link the landings to the west at Utah and the British landings to the east at Gold. The atmosphere at Omaha was much more subdued than at Utah Beach, this made for a good time to reflect on the busy, information loaded day we all just had.
If you will be in Normandy for a short visit, I do recommend taking a full day tour like this, I would hope you have a knowledgeable, enthusiastic tour guide like I had, he definitely made the tour amazing.
It was a lot of information for one day though, so if you were spending a good amount of time in Normandy, I would recommend maybe taking some half day morning tours to the different sites so that you can spend your afternoons absorbing the information.
I hope you have enjoyed me revisiting my Normandy trip and learned some more things you didn’t previously know about Normandy like I did. Thanks so much for reading, stay safe and healthy everyone!