We had booked a full-day tour of American Sector D-Day locations with Overlord Tours. We had a group of approximately ten people and we were driven around in a van. The trip is something that you could definitely do yourself as all the locations are public and most are free, but I found the tour to be very interesting and the sites were more informative with a guide. If you are already very knowledgeable on the subject, then this might be nothing new, but I liked the tour.
The things that the sandy beaches of Normandy are very much changed these days. The bunkers are now located further away from the beach due to the moving sand and look rather non-threatening, the weather was beautiful, people are swimming and surfing on the beach. Only with a guide you get interesting details such as stories about local resistance and what it was like here on the D-Day.
After Omaha Beach, our next visit was to the Normandy American cemetery, which was really well-maintained and peaceful.
Next stop of Normandy landings was at Pointe-du-Hoc. The site still showed the signs of bombs and had some big pits in the ground.
The next stop was at Sainte-Mère-Église, where we stopped to see the church with parachute memorial, where during D-Day landings a paratrooper John Steele got caught on the church spire and hung there for two hours pretending to be dead.
We also had lunch in some rather unremarkable cafe. Our guide recommended some restaurants in town, but unfortunately due to the Ascension Day, they were closed.
After this we continued to Utah Beach.
Our final stop of the day was in a church in Angoville au Plain, which was used by two US army medics as an aide station during the Battle of Normandy in World War II. They treated injured American and German wounded soldiers. You can still see some blood stains on the pews. The church has two stained glass windows. In the first there are the two medics and the second honors the American parachutists.
After the tour we returned to Bayeux and decided to check out the Bayeux cathedral, which was really impressive.
We also wanted to see the Bayeux tapestry, but the museum was already closed, so we needed to leave it for the next morning. Instead we needed to get something to eat, but unfortunately this time we didn’t book anythings as we weren’t sure when the tour would end and of course everywhere was full. We finally decided to go to Moulin de la Galette, which was highly recommended and ask if we could get food as take away. They said that they could do that, but when we have waited for about 15 minutes, they said that a table has become available and maybe we would like to stay and eat there as it was difficult to prepare galettes to go. 🙂 So we stayed and had a really nice time and great food. Warmly recommended.