Europe Trip - Day 5 Part 2 - D-Day Landings and Cider Farm Visit
From the humbling and sombre American Cemetery, we headed next to the coastal town of Arromanches, home of the artificially made Mulberry Harbour. A plan conceived by Winston Churchill which took two years to finally execute in 1944, the area was turned into a temporary harbour in order to create a portable harbour to help liberate France. Cement fixtures that would become piers and floating bridges were manufactured in England and installed at what would become known as Port Winston, in order to help transport 2.5 Million men, 500,000 vehicles, and 4 Million tonnes of military supplies.
A lunch of fish and chips gave us the energy to get through the rest of the museum displays and a quick video we watched about the manufacturing of the piers and bridges.
We then hopped back on the coach to head a little further east to Juno Beach. Canadians reading this will recognize that it was here that the Canadian soldiers advanced. Compared to Omaha Beach, which has the rocky cliffs that the rangers raided, Juno beach is a much more gradual slope which was easier for the soldiers to make their landing. Things became much more deadly for the Canadians further to the north east. Unfortunately we did not have the time to check out those regions.
With only about a 1/2 hour to check out the area, I made a super quick tour around the beach.
The first part of the day was pretty emotionally draining. When you think of the number of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice and even just to stand there, on the beach, with nothing happening, to close your eyes and imagine what the soldiers were experiencing and what their families went through, worrying about them (and in many cases, never getting to see them again) we were grateful that we would be heading back to the hotel for a bit of a break.
While I didn’t get a chance to rest, I took out my generational guilt and angst on my laundry (Good. Freaking. LORD! The Normandy Region is just SO HUMID!). After our brief hiatus, we all hopped back on the coach in order to head to a Cider Farm for a tour, owner and operated by one family, we were shown their process and got to sample a variety of ciders and liqueurs that are made right on site before we headed to supper, a Norman Feast!