Once we knew we would be in Europe for a year we started thinking of places that we’d like to visit since we’d be close. Being a bit of a WWII history enthusiast, on my list was to see the D-Day landing beaches. I thought it would be interesting to see the location that was the start of the tide turning and thus in all likelihood changed the lifestyle we enjoy today. So, when we knew we would be in Angers it just made sense that we’d go north to Normandy. Since we wanted to be in Paris by Sunday (for free Louvre entry) we only had two days in Normandy. On Friday we took the train to Caen which is the capital of the Basse-Normandie region, before doing a day trip by bus on Saturday to Juno Beach at out to the beaches at Courseulles-sur-Mer.
Walking around the small town and the beaches it was quite sobering to think of what had happened and how many had died in this otherwise picturesque location. Not surprisingly there are a number of monuments along the beach front remembering those fought and died during the summer of 1944. Here is a sampling:
On a lighter note, here are some pictures from our quick exploration of Caen. We weren’t expecting much other than a jumping off point for exploring the beaches, but were pleasantly surprised as the town is quite charming.