This past weekend the Sewanee crew headed to the North-West coast of France to visit the historical sights in Normandy. We left Paris early on Saturday morning to get the most out of the weekend that we could, stopping in Honfleur and a Cider brewery on our way. Honfleur was a beautiful and small village with lots of boats and color. We spent close to 3 hours walking around to stretch our legs and lunch on some good seafood. We arrived at Christian Drouin, the Cider brewery, that afternoon and got the grand tour followed by some tasting! It really brought the fall out for us in France with the overwhelming smell of fresh apples. We arrived at our hostel for dinner and quickly hit the hay to rest up for a day of walking and sightseeing.
We rose with the sun on Sunday and headed straight for Omaha Beach which houses the American Memorial and Cemetery. It was a surreal feeling stepping onto U.S. territory all the way over here in France. With over 9,000 headstone it was hard to not feel overwhelmed with gratitude to be an American. After being free to walk along the coast, through the cemetery, and into the chapel, we piled back onto the bus to see Pointe du Hoc. Immediately we were able to see the the craters in the ground and the bunkers created to halt the invasion of the Army Rangers. It was a very cool experience to see the beauty of the present day coastline filled with animals, such as goats, in contrast to the harsh reality of what events took place there only some 60-70 years ago. We finished our trip with a stop on our way back to Paris in Caen to visit the Memorial Cité de l’Histoire pour la Paix. An immense museum that included not only history and memorabilia from WWII but also WWI and post war life throughout all of the countries involved. All in all it was a weekend of appreciation, knowledge, and fun!