Normandy Beaches from London

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by wally, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. wally

    wally Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Two weeks from today I’ll be winging my way across the pond for a week in London. Other than a day or two work, I’m free to see the sights.

    Anyway, I’d like to cross the Channel and visit some of the D-Day beaches. Anyone have experience with this. I will not have a car so must rely on a tour company or public transportation.
     
  2. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 1999
    Messages:
    5,654
    Likes Received:
    33
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Pittsfield, MA
    Real Name:
    Jay
    If you take the TGV (train) to Paris, there are Metro trains that go all the way out to Normandy, I believe it is like a 2.5 hour ride and the Metro in paris is very good in that they are quick and fairly easy to navigate.

    Mario Bartel and I were in Paris to see the Tour de France and we met a couple who did just that, take the train to Normandy and did a day trip out there.

    Jay
     
  3. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can get you the goods and more if you give me into next week.
    It happens that a guy I work with was born and raised in the Normandy area prior to immigrating to Canada.
    He just got back from 3 weeks visiting family that still resides there.
    I'll pick his brain for you on Monday.
     
  4. wally

    wally Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2001
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Cary.

    I look forward to your reply.
     
  5. Karl_Luph

    Karl_Luph Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2002
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wally, I've spoken to many people who have gone to visit some of the D-Day beaches. Be prepared for what awaits you. It's a very sobering site to see all of those white crosses and it's going to touch your heart because you will realize that each and everyone of those gave the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. We owe them so much...
     
  6. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2003
    Messages:
    280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wish I had the time and space to go into detail. My co-worker came up with a huge volume of maps and tourism guides. You've picked a good time to go.
    He spent a fair bit of time telling us his stories of growing up in the area. The beaches there and back were an easy bicycle dayride from his home.
    The whole thing didn't make much impact on him until he returned to visit family as an adult.
    He suggested avoiding the tours and renting a car.
    I wasn't sure how long you planned to stay on the continent, but if you got yourself to Caen you could go from there.
    From London, get yourself to Paris by train. You'll find yourself at Gare du Nord. (North Station)
    Once again, we'll stick with the D-Day thing to stay on
    the subject.(he thought it would be a shame to not see a bit of Paris while you're there, but...that's off topic)
    To get to Caen, get a train at Gare St. Lazare.
    Don't forget to convert some money to Euros.
    If you choose to stay a few nights, he says you can't go too wrong with hotels of the chain IBIS. A fair number of decent, affordable places in Caen according to him.

    He said if you were to go only one place, make it the Museum at Arromanche. (Arromanche search in Google will come up with reams of info.)
    Don't miss the American Cemetery at Colleville. Nothing can prepare you for the sight of it. Something like 6000 white crosses. A vast number of the buried were still in their teens. Row after row of crosses bearing June 6th. While there you will find yourself, whether you like it or not, alongside visitors with connections to those who remain behind.
    Other suggestions:

    The Canadian Cemetery in Reviers.
    The new Canadian museum in Courseulles.
    The Memorial in Caen.
    Pegasus Bridge and Museum in Benouville.

    One last bit....when you see the countryside you'll get a real idea just how tough it had to be making your way inland against enemy resistance. Over the centuries, French estate law made families divy up their land in even parts to their kids when they passed away. This resulted in hedgerows being constructed along the perimeters of these plots, and over the centuries there are countless numbers of them in place. All these man made obstacles criss-crossing a rolling terrain littered with natural barriers of marshes and bogs made it tough to gain ground.

    Have some stories for us when you get home, OK?
     
  7. Ray Chuang

    Ray Chuang Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2002
    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    110
    Wally,

    You may want to check if there are direct ferry service from ports along the south English coast to Cherbourg. From Cherbourg, you can take public transportation (most likely by bus) to visit the Normandy beaches.

    P&O Ferries has a direct Portsmouth-Cherbourg service that runs at 7:15 am, frequently 12:00 noon, frequently 2:45 pm and sometimes 11:45 pm at night.
     

Share This Page