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Friday, November 3, 2017

A Little Pause

In the early hours on Monday, 10/9/2017, I was evacuated from my home in Santa Rosa and 30 minutes later it burned to the ground. I will return when I am more settled. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

La Ferme Saint Michel

After Bayeux, we drove 1 1/2 hours to Mont Saint Michel. We had dinner reservations at La Ferme Saint Michel, inside the gate. The gate is at the southern end of the road that leads to the island of Mont Saint Michele. There are restaurants and hotels inside the gate and outside. You need a code to get inside the gate. You can call the restaurant to get the code, which changes daily or park at the lot outside the gate and walk to the restaurant.

The restaurant is large but it was full when we arrived at 9 pm. Fortunately, we had made reservations online.

They offered a 3-course menu for €20. There were several choices for each course. The entree choices included Duo of Terrines--there was a smooth pate and a country pate. Both were good.

The Farm's Omelet was another entree option. This was prepared in the style of La Mere Poulard--yolks and whites beaten separately then folded together so it was more like a soufflé. It was very light and fluffy.

One of the main options was Grilled Chicken Filet. This was boring. Not much flavor to the sauce and the chicken was dry.

Fish Colin d'Alaska. This was also okay. The fish was dry and the sauce was uninspired.

Dessert options included selection of two Normandy cheese, in this case Pont l'Eveque & Camembert.

Calvados Macerated Apples in Normandy Far.

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Overlord Tour--101st Airborne

Our 2nd tour with Overlord was the 101st Airborne tour. We met at 8:30 am in Place du Quebec. We had a different tour guide. He was in his mid 20s but very knowledgeable about the events of D-Day. I would recommend watching "Band of Brothers" before going on this tour--many of the sites were featured in the mini series.

First stop was Marmion's Farm, a stop only Overlord can make because they have a special arrangement with the owner of the farm. Many of the 101st Airborne paratroopers regrouped here after their missed landings.

Sainte-Marie-du-Mont--the first village to be liberated in Normandy on D-Day.

Famous statue of WWI French soldier which was toppled by the Germans and replaced on its pedestal by the US Army.

The church in town was riddled with bullets.

The remnants are still visible today.

Chateau Bellenau was occupied by the Germans as a gun placement and lookout post. It was the first chateau liberated by the Screaming Eagles on D-Day, June 6, 1944.

La Barquette Lock. The Germans controlled flooding of the lowlands by controlling this lock. Allied control of the lock was gained shortly after D Day.

At lunch, we stopped at St. Mere Eglise again. This time, there was no market so we picked up some items at the charcuterie and had a picnic lunch.

After lunch, we toured the church.

Paratrooper John Steele landed on the spire of the church although he landed on the other side of the church. The other side of the church wasn't as dramatic so the memorial was placed on the side facing the town square. John Steele hung limp for 2 hours, pretending to be dead, until he was taken prisoner by the Germans. He was able to escape and rejoin his division.

Where else would you see stained glass featuring paratroopers except in Normandy.

C47 crash site memorial near Beauzeville

101st Airborne Memorial, located near St. Marie du Mont.

Statue of Major Richard Winters located near St. Marie du Mont. He unfortunately passed away the year before the statue was unveiled. He was made famous by the mini series "Band of Brothers."

Church in Saint Come du Mont

The museum we visited on this tour was the D-Day Experience. We were able to ride a C47 simulator, complete with smoke when we crash landed.

Memorial honoring Congressional Medal of Honor winner Lt. Col. Robert G Cole. He was only 29 when he died during Operation Market Garden in the Netherlands.

The tour ended at 6 pm--another long but very educational day.

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Monday, October 30, 2017

La Parisse

Before we met for our 2nd Overlord tour, we grabbed croissants at a nearby bakery.

La Parisse is located at 15 Rue Saint-Martin.

We got a croissant for €0.90 and a chocolate croissant for €0.95. I love France. A croissant in the SF bay area would be €4 each.

2017 05 26

Sunday, October 29, 2017

L'Assiette Normande

We had made reservations at L'Assiette Normande for dinner.

L'Assiette Normande is located at 3 Rue des Chanoines.

We started with a Kir Vin Blanc (white wine) €3.50 & Kir Normand (cider) €3.20.

I chose the Menu Duo (2 course) for €13.90. First course was seafood platter with shrimp and bulots.

Bavette with Shallot Sauce & French Fries--the beef was tough but the shallot sauce was good.

My husband chose the Menu Trio for €17.90. His first course was Salmon Pate. He didn't like it--not much flavor.

His main was the Fish of the Day--skate. This was full of bones.

His 3rd course was dessert of the day--chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream.

2017 05 25

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Le Show Glace

After our tour, we got ice cream at La Show Glace in the center of Bayeux.

La Show Glace is located at 3 Rue Larcher.

We got a cone of Pistachio and Passion Fruit for €3. Both flavors were delicious.

2017 05 25

Friday, October 27, 2017

Overlord Tours--Omaha & Utah

We took two D-Day tours in Normandy--Overlord's Omaha/Utah and 101st Airborne tours. Both were all-day tours and they were long days with a lot packed in.

We met at 8:20 am in Place du Quebec in the center of town. There were 8 people on our Omaha/Utah tour and we were loaded into a mini van with our tour guide, who was also the driver.

First stop was Longues-sur-Mer Battery--artillery batteries that formed part of Germany's Atlantic Wall coastal fortification. Four guns, each protected by cement casements, fired at both Omaha and Gold Beaches.

Colleville-sur-Mer--a tiny commune where tanks rolled through after disembarking from Omaha Beach.

Omaha Beach--this section preserved the natural pebble bank barrier that provided the only cover for the 1st US Infantry Division as they disembarked from their boats.

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer. The cemetery is open daily except Christmas and New Year and admission is free.

Bronze statue "Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves" in the center of the semicircular colonnade.

9387 are buried here. Their grave sites are marked with simple crosses 

or stars of david.

One of 2 granite statues at the west end of the central mall. This one represents France. The other statue represents the US.

At the overlook, you can see a display showing the landing beaches. From west to east: Utah (US), Omaha (US), Gold (British), Juno (Canadian) and Sword (Australian).

We spent 45 minutes here. You could certainly spend a couple hours here to see everything. We didn't even get to see the Normandy Visitors Center, where you can watch 3 films ("Letters," "On Their Shoulders," and "OK, Let's Go").

Les Braves Sculpture on Omaha Beach--stainless steel sculpture to honor the men who landed on Omaha Beach to liberate France. There are 3 elements: 1) Wings of Hope, 2) Rise, Freedom! and 3) Wings of Fraternity.

National Guard Monument on Omaha Beach. This is located where the 29th National Guard Division broke through German defenses on D-Day.

Pointe du Hoc promontory where German artillery was set up to fire on Omaha & Utah Beaches.

Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument was erected by the French to honor the American Second Ranger Battalion who scaled the 100 ft cliffs to seize the German artillery that could have fired on Omaha and Utah Beaches.

We stopped in Sainte Mere Eglise for lunch. We were there on Thursday and it was Market Day.

We got sausages with bread for €3. They were delicious.

We also got a ham, egg and cheese galette for €4.70 (just okay) and a nutella & banana crepe (better than the galette) for €3.

After lunch, we visited the Airborne Museum. Admission (€8.50) was included in our tour.

This was a great museum and I could have spent a few hours there. There are 3 buildings: Waco building with a glider on display, C47 building and Operation Neptune building. Kids would really enjoy the museum because there are full-size models and you can walk through many of them.

Iron Mike statue commemorating the capture of La Fiere Causeway, which allowed Allied troops to cross the Merderet River and block German reinforcement from the south.

Observation Table in the shape of a partially unfolded parachute recounts the chronology of the Battle of La Fiere.

Our next stop was Utah Beach.

Higgins Boat Monument--the Higgins boats were made of plywood and carried a platoon of 36 men. Eisenhower declared the boats to be crucial to the Allied victory in Normandy.

Utah Beach was very different from Omaha Beach. Utah Beach had a wide expanse of sand.

Utah Beach Museum. Our tour did not include a visit to this museum.

Liberty Road Marker lining the route taken by the Allied troops on D Day. The entire route is 1146 km.

Our last stop was at the church in Angoville-au-Plain, where just 2 medics took care of 75 wounded American and German soldiers and 1 French civilian on June 6-8, 1944. The church is riddled with bullet holes and blood stains.

We arrived back in Bayeux at 6:30 pm. We paid €175 per person to our tour guide for both the Omaha/Utah and the next day's 101st Airborne tour. Be prepared to pay in cash. Our guide was very knowledgeable and brought to life the evens of June 6, 1944. I'm not a history buff but I still found the tour very interesting.

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