Sunday, February 13, 2011

Adventures in Normandy

Hello Again!
Another update I'm sure you have all been looking forward to :)

This week the program took us on a little trip up to the north of France to Normandy and Brittany. Here are all the cities I was in: Rouen, Caen, Saint-Lô, Bayeaux,  St Milo, and Chartres.

I saw the Notre Dame de Rouen. Which was a cathedral that was bombed during WWII. It was huge and incredibly impressive. Even after being in a ton of cathedrals, I still thought this one was pretty cool. The city itself is really picturesque with adorable old houses.
Notre Dame of Rouen

People in awe at how Flamboyant Gothic it is

Did I say cute or what?

This is what happens when you are in one place waiting for too long

We went to the WWII Peace Museum. It documents all of the events leading up to the war, through the war and then after. It was really interesting. They have an exhibit just for the war beaches. Very educational. We also went to the Castle of Willaim the Conqueor. Which was pretty cool. It was my first castle unless you count Sleeping Beauty's...

The Peace Museum
Inside of the Peace Museum

Willy the Conqueror's House

Drew and Kira hanging out at Willy's

St Lo:
That's where the war beaches are for the most part. We first went to Point du Hoc. Which is where the troops had to scale a cliff face under fire to destroy the pillboxes. All of the bomb craters were still there. The view of the ocean was really beautiful. We were really lucky because we got there at sunrise and we were the only ones there. So we got the place to ourselves.
Sunrise at Pointe du Hoc

Me in front of beautiful scenery

Then we went over to the Normandy American Memorial and Cemetery. It was really well done and they did a really good job of documenting the events and memorializing the soldiers. It was alot like Arlinton National cemetery. I am always impressed by how straight they get the lines.


Then we went down to Omaha Beach. The day was pretty much perfect: warm and cloudless. And who doesn't love a good beach? So everyone went a little crazy, especially since we had all been cooped up in a car for too many hours. It was a blast.

Omaha Beach! Gorgeous Day!

The group at enjoying the beach

Saw a really long (70m) really old (1066ish AD) tapestry documenting the victory of William the Conqueror.
It wrapped around the other side too. It's the tapestry that never ends
St. Milo:
Right close to where le Mont St Michel is. We got there 10 mins too late to go into the actual abby, but honestly, you've seen one cathedral, to some extent you've seen them all. So we waited for the sun to set so we could see the place all lit up. It was pretty cool. And again, being in France during the off season means small crowds. Which is really really nice. I''ve been wanting to see Le Mont St Michel ever since I saw a picture of it back in high school, and it did not disappoint at all. It was amazing, especially at night!

Saw the famous cathedral. Which was like the other cathedrals that I've been in, except this one had the the Sancta Camisa, believed to be the tunic worn by the Virgin Mary at the time of Christ's birth. Nifty, huh? Also, on the way we stopped at some Roman ruins and played capture the flag.
Chartres Cathedral

Mary's night gown
Some delightful Roman Ruins

All in all, a great weekend. Definitely one for the ole journal :)

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