Europe Trip - Day 5 Part 1 - D-Day Sites; Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach, Normandy American Cemetery
The morning of my 5th day in Europe I woke up to a pleasant surprise - when I looked out my window, there was a blanket of fog that had settled over the landscape beyond my window. I’d been cursing my alarm, thinking maybe I should have set it for a bit later but when I looked outside, I lunged across the room to grab my camera. There are occasional benefits to getting up early. And the humidity in the Normandy region is always very high.
After breakfast in the restaurant with some of the others, we jumped on the coach for a 30 or so drive up to the coast of the English Channel to Pointe du Hoc. With a 100 foot cliff, it is the highest point between Utah and Omaha Beaches. The Germans had control over the area and had fortified the area with bunkers and gun pits. On July 6th, 1944, the Allied Troops advanced, lead by the United States Army Ranger Assault Group, which scaled the cliffs, while under fire, in order to gain control of the area.
Heading a little further east, we ended up at Omaha Beach, where the allies suffered many casualties as the Germans had quite a stronghold in the area.
Moving even further along the coast, we also had a chance to go to the Normandy American Cemetery. Located in Colleville-sur-Mer, it is the first American Cemetery on European soil in WWII. It covers over 170 acres and is the final resting place of 9,385 military personnel, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and related operations.