(France Flag)


(Map of France)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2012:

Afer sailing across the English Channel overnight, we docked in Le Havre, France before dawn Sunday.
I took an all-day shore excursion to the beaches of Normandy.
Our first stop was at La Pointe du Hoc, a clifftop location on the coast of Normandy.

All of the images below are thumbnails and can be clicked on for a larger image.

La Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France La Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France La Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France

This was a point of attack by the United States Army Ranger Assault Group
during Operation Overlord in World War II.
La Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France La Pointe du Hoc in Normandy, France

Our next stop was at Omaha Beach.
Omaha Beach is the code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of
German-occupied France in the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944, during World War II.
The beach is located on the coast of Normandy facing the English Channel.
Omaha Beach in Normandy, France Omaha Beach in Normandy, France

Our next stop was at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

The cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English Channel.
It covers 172 acres and contains the remains of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom
were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II.
Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial

After lunch we made our last stop of the day in Arromanches.
The town lies along the stretch of coastline designated as Gold Beach during the D-Day landings,
one of the beaches used by British troops in the Allied invasion. Arromanches was selected as
one of the sites for two Mulberry Harbors built on the Normandy coast. Sections of the Mulberry
Harbor at Arromanches still remain today with huge concrete blocks sitting on the sand.
Arromanches, France Arromanches, France

Today Arromanches is mainly a tourist town. Situated in a good location for visiting all of the battle sites
and War Cemeteries, there is also a museum at Arromanches with information about Operation Overlord.
Arromanches, France Arromanches, France

MY DAY IN NORMANDY VIDEO

MY DAILY EMAIL SENT ON NOVEMBER 4, 2012
Hello again everyone,

After I wrote last night I went down to see the show in the ship's theater. It was the best show I have ever seen on a cruise ship. It was the MacDonald Brothers, two Scottish guys who sang and played several different instruments. The were both amazing. Much better than the boring hypnotist that performed tonight.

Today I had to get up early for the trip to Normandy. When we left the port of Le Havre for Normandy it was still dark outside and pouring rain. It was a two hour drive to the landing beaches of Normandy. By the time we got there the weather had cleared nicely. Still quite cool and windy but mostly sunny. Below is a picture of our first stop at La Pointe du Hoc.



The picture below is another one of the cliffs of La Pointe du Hoc.



Our next stop was at Omaha Beach.



Our next stop was on United States soil at the U.S. Cemetary.



Below is a closer look at the rows of graves. This is only one very small portion. They go on for as far as the eye can see practically.



Next we were off to lunch. On our way to lunch we were driving on the narrow French roads between the small villages when this van came around the corner going way too fast and side-swiped the side of the bus. Luckily it didn't do much damage to the bus and the cops let us proceed to the restaurant and they did the accident reports as we were eating. It was a very good lunch. We ate at the country club at the Omaha Beach Golf Course.

After lunch our final stop of the day was at Arromanches. A pretty little town right on the beach.



So far I have been very lucky with the weather. We have had a lot of rain, but usually it is overnight. My slacks and shoes are a muddy mess from walking around on the soggy ground all day. My last photo of the day was taken just before we left Arromanches looking out on the landing beaches of Normandy.



It was a two hour drive back to Le Havre. By the time we got back it was dark again. So I can't tell you what Le Havre looks like as I have never seen it in daylight. We sailed away at 8:00 tonight. The Captain has informed us that we can expect a bumpy ride for the next 24 hours or so. Sustained winds over 40mph and large swells. The worst being tomorrow as we cross the Bay of Biscay. As I am writing this we are already rocking. We'll be at sea all day tomorrow heading for our next port of Vigo, Spain on Tuesday.

More later,

Tim



MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2012:

Monday was a rocky day at sea as we crossed the Bay of Biscay.
The day's activities including the Captain's Welcome Reception
can be seen in the video below beginning at 7:34.

THE GRAND PRINCESS VIDEO




Click on the arrow above to continue to my next stop, VIGO, SPAIN!

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