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THE CHATTER BOX

 
  
  
  The Chatter Box : Travel
  
  
  
 
France by commodus on 28 August 2006 9:45pm
 
Have just returned from two weeks in france, I have been many times before and like to mix up some of the old with the new. Normandy was a happy surprise with so much to see and do.
Never before that interested in the second world war landings on the 6th of june 1944. A visit to the pegasus bridge has since turned me into an enthusiast. the museum and the talk was fascinating and just outlined what an endeavour that day was and how brave our soldiers were. There are things to see outside of the landings such as monets gardens and house which was fantastic a real experience and joy after seeing his paintings many times. To actually walk through that garden and accross the japanese bridge and seeing the water lillies was breathtaking. Mount st michel was great but probably better to go out of season as this was absolutely packed and took away some of the pleasure.
 
Re: France by tucsonmike on 28 August 2006 11:29pm
 
Glad you had a good trip. Wish I were going somewhere other than the East Coast...
 
Re: France by peripatetically on 29 August 2006 1:07am
 
Hey! Mike, what's wrong with the east coast? lol Wink wink. I adore it. Wouldn;t live anywhere else as much as I love many different areas of thw wold and country. But, to each his own.

Your trip sounded very very nice, commodus!
 
Re: France by pandab on 29 August 2006 2:17am
 
I visited France a couple years ago, and Normandy took me by surprise as well. I thought the WWII sites would be yawn inspiring. I had watched too many WWII documentaries on TV, I guess, and had gotten sort of numb to it.

Well, Normandy sure jerked a knot in my historical tail! What did it was seeing Point du Hoc. It's a small place (or at least what I saw gave me that impression), and at first glance, there isn't much there. But the site packs such a punch that there doesn't need to be much else but the battlefield.

Point du Hoc is about mid-way between two D-Day landing beaches, Omaha and Utah (I think). The story about it is heartbreaking, but I won't go into it here.

Few Americans of my age have actually seen a real battlefield, let alone a battle. I've seen some of the Civil War sites in Virginia, but I suppose their age has worn away some of the scars.

Not so at Point du Hoc. It is preserved almost exactly as it was left at the end of WWII--riddled with craters and broken bunkers. And it's quiet, rather haunting with the wind. It almost felt like walking into a church. Even a crowd of high school kids, who were rowdy and irritating in the parking lot, fell silent as they entered the field. Few people spoke, and those who did spoke in low voices.

One gentleman on our tour (about my age, early 40s) just stood there looking around for the longest time. The only thing I heard him say was "My God" over and over.

Point du Hoc shook me but good. You could feel the death, the sheer horridness of war in that scarred scrap of land. Gives me the shivers just thinking about it.

Pandab
 
Re: France by commodus on 30 August 2006 12:23am
 
Thats great to hear pandab, and its snippets of information like that, that makes for a good trip. Id never heard of the pegasus bridge until a lady at work told us to go there and not wanting to get all spiritual or anything, that trip their has made me understand the gravitas, the sheer terror and bravery these young lads went through to defend us and liberate europe. Ive watched the films, but until you can watch them and appreciate that this really happened and it isnt pretend, you can truly appreciate them, im watching the longest day on dvd at the mo and its unbelievable now that i can put places and personal accounts to the holywood action.
 



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