Our time In Normandy

Our first day in Caen we went to the grocery store to buy food and then the tourism office in order to get more information on the things we were interested in doing. Then we headed to Château de Caen which is a castle built by William the Conqueror in 1060. We had a fun time wandering around in the castle and reading the various informational signs within it. There was also an amazing view from high up in the castle. While at the castle we also went to the Musée de Normandie, which we got in to free because we were under the age of 26. (I love free stuff.) The museum had an area that talked about the Norsemen. I had never really thought about the fact that Normandy really had anything to do with the Norsemen so that was really interesting. It also had exhibits on the industrial life in Caen, which was really interesting. Then we went and looked at some of the beautiful churches in the area and even went inside of one of them. That night we set out in search of a karaoke bar, but it had no people in it, so we settled for dinner at a Pizza Hut before heading back to the hotel. Haha. The second morning we woke up a bit earlier in order to get on a train to Bayeux. The best part about our Eurorail passes is that we could so easily just jump on a train in order to get to our destination. We got to Bayeux without any difficulties. On arrival, however, we were told that the bus station was closed and that we wouldn’t be able to catch one until later in order to get to Omaha Beach. We had no idea what to do. There was a line of taxis behind a sign that told prices for certain tours by taxi. After a little bit of discussion we decided to talk to one of them and see what we could arrange. It ended up that getting a taxi out there wouldn’t be too expensive and then we could just catch the bus back. I’m actually really glad that we did it this way because the taxi driver ended up being really nice and helpful. He even lifted the fog for us for why the French never understood us when we said Caen. It was because we were pronouncing it ‘Cone’ when the French didn’t pronounce the ‘n’ at all. When we said ‘Coe’ all of a sudden we made perfect sense to them. Haha. I will also never forget that the song “Storms in Africa” was playing on the radio. It was stuck in our heads for the majority of the day after that. Haha On arrival we went to the Visitor Center, which was free and extremely educational. I learned so much about the Normandy, D-Day and America’s role in it all. It was really interesting. Then we wandered down to Omaha Beach and walked around for a while. It’s so crazy to think what happened on that beautiful beach not so long ago. It was such a long distance to run and the shrubs would make it incredibly difficult. I just can’t even imagine what they had to go through that day. Following that we walked up to the American Cemetery. It was huge which really made it all sink in. I remember that after that experience I had a bit of a different feeling than what one is supposed to take away. Elise and I had been talking and she mentioned how the experienced instilled in her a sense of pride in being an American as well as a huge respect for those men who had died there. I understand this perfectly, and if other things didn’t occupy my mind I probably would have felt the same. But as I walked away from my experience at Omaha Beach I just felt sadness and fear. Sadness, because so many people lost their lives; and fear because something like that can even happen. It frightens me that people are capable of taking another human life. I don’t think that I could ever do it. I understand that in many cases they were fighting for something greater than themselves and that if that wouldn’t have been the case then they would not have done such a thing. However, war would not exist if there did not exist people within the world who were capable of murder without it weighing heavily on their conscience. This is the idea that sends chills through my entire being. It scares me that men like Hitler have existed and will continue to exist, men who put their own personal gain above the value of another human life. That is the kind of man that really scares me. Our last day in Caen we went to Abbaye aux Hommes, the men’s abbey where William the Conqueror is buried. It now serves as Caen’s town hall. On arrival we were told that there were no tours going that day, but the woman who was working at the front desk gave us a little bit of one anyway. She showed us the Wedding room and the Cloister. It was very pretty. Later that day we went out and had kebabs. They were really tasty. Then we just headed back to the hotel and called it a day. We weren’t in Caen for long, but managed to do a lot of interesting things. I will definitely never forget visiting Omaha Beach. It was such an interesting experience that left me with so many things to think about. Cheers ladies and gents :)

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