Normandy D-Day Beaches

Our last day in Normandy
was spent hauling buns around the coast
trying to take in all of the WWII history.

Obviously, this is impossible to do in one day.

We had watched Saving Private Ryan ahead of time,
which turned out to be a good move.

Walking out to those beaches and having fresh visuals
of what happened on the ground below us
is a heavy feeling that is hard to explain.

You'll have to go someday and it experience it for yourself...
but it's an odd cocktail of pride & sadness that can only be drank slowly.

Regardless of being in the middle of the French countryside
I was left feeling as patriotic as if I was atop float in a Fourth of July Parade.

Our D-Day Itinerary through Normandy started with a visit to Utah Beach.

Walking out to Utah Beach,
it looked exactly like I had always pictured it.

From Utah Beach, we headed to the Paratroopers Museum in town
and had a quick break to have, in my opinion the best tailgate ever.

No, I don't really enjoying eating out of the trunk of a car before football games,
but somehow when it is out of a Peugeot in a small French village it seems much... classier :)

We cruised on up the road another hour or so till we arrived at Omaha Beach.

Then we found ourselves up the hill at the American Cemetery...
which is both hauntingly beautiful.

All those crosses representing people who had their lives cut short
so that others enjoy the promise of a full, free life.

It's humbling, no?

In retrospect, we could have skipped driving to Omaha Beach,
and just headed to the American Cemetery 
where there is a path to the beach from there. 
It overlooks the beach as you can see in the picture below. 

Oh well.

Normandy is an amazing trip. 
Honestly, one I hope to do over several times,
as I can tell this is a special place that only gets better as you uncover it.

{But I will probably always return to this private home rental near Mont St Michel where we stayed.
It was completely perfect- location, cute owners, fabulous four course meal for dinner!}

Have you visited Normandy?
Do you know someone who fought there?

*all images original to Aspiring Kennedy. 


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  2. I have not been to the beaches. I have been to Mont St Michel. Unfortunately, during the height of the summer tourist season and after the cattle herding through the town, I was very nearly too irritated to enjoy the monastery. Fortunately, the building and the views fully made up for the crowds. I did travel through Bretagne as well. St Malo was the most wonderfully charming town with lovely northern beaches and gorgeous architecture. And, a stop for fresh oysters in Cancale is an amazing treat!

  3. I haven't made it to France just yet, but visiting Normandy sounds like something I would enjoy being the huge history nerd that I am . These pictures are breathtaking. And I think tailgaiting in France is probably classier on principle.

  4. i've been doing lots of ww2 research for my job, so seeing these photos touches a nerve. beautiful!

    Maria @ Orchard Bloom

  5. Yes, We went with our family and it was an emotional trip. My Mother-in-law cried thinking about all those poor soldiers.
    I think it is a beautiful spot - we stayed in Deauville with my sister-in-law. They have a home there....foot steps from the beach. I love how you share your sights and emotions Lauren.

  6. I visited while in Normandy to Pointe du Hoc and Utah Beach, as well as the American Cemetery. All of the Beaches and the Cemetery especially are incredibly moving and beautiful. I would love to go back and spend more time there! XO

  7. Normandy is definitely on our list to see while we are living in Europe (what isn't?!) - loved the photos and all the info - perfect as usual :)

  8. Did you start crying every time they played Taps at the cemetery? We also met a British couple in Bayeux who were telling us about the German Cemetery- apparently its hard to find but very dark & somber- very different from the others, as you can imagine. I'm now really curious about it!

  9. Sounds like a sobering and beautiful experience. Lovely photos as always.

  10. I have chills over my skin right now. It's such a perfect post, combining the beauty and tragedy. I've always wanted to go there, to see what it looked like for them. My grandfathers both served in WWII but were not in Normandy. I cannot imagine what it must have been like.


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