Normandy.

We woke up early and rented a car. A little diesel Peugeot. After a
quick cup of coffee headed for Normandy. Having a car here is
indespensible, there is so much to see. The tourist map has what seems
like a thousand points of interest, countless museums, cemeteries, and
many kilometers of beaches. Juno beach was our 1st stop. The Canadian
center wasn’t all that interesting, it was rather dry. Some displays
on the walls and a short video clip. There was an interesting exhibit
about Canadians fighting in Italy just before D-day, alot of stuff I
didn’t know anything about.

I was excited to see some un-French food at the local diner and was
happy to order a hot dog. After a long wait I was greeted with a cheap
long weener, soaked in a very spicey mustard, served in a crispy baguette.
Grr, I would pay 20$ for a smokey.

After flying around some winding roads we arrived at Arromanches. The
museum there is devoted to all the logistical issues and the
technology used to construct the artificial mulberry harbour. The
harbour along with the breakwater were used to land troops and
supplies after the initial attack. Incredible stuff here. Longues-sur-
mer is where the German battery is located. It is the only remaining
coastal defense that still has its guns intact. This part of the
Atlantic wall is an engineering marvel. We walked inside all the
fortifications and took countless pictures. Bayeux was probably my
favourite place, the museum there is incredible. It houses tanks,
guns, all types of hardware. I got to see an MG42, an old German
howitzer, and all kinds of interesting electronic gadgetry. The 30
minute film that described German and allied tactics during the first
few weeks was awesome, something I have never seen before. We visited
the massive English cemetery there as well and checked out Pointe Du
Hoc. You could easily spend a week exploring this area and visiting
the museums but we just ran out of time. This whole area is something
that must be seen in person, no movie, book, nothing can describe the
feeling of this place.

The car had to be back early and we were over our mileage limit. It is
expensive to rent, gas is through the roof and they were charging for
mileage. Heading back to Paris then off to Barcelona on the sleepy
train.