Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Beaches of Normandy...

Yesterday we took a day trip to the beaches of Normandy. Actually, we first went and saw things about William the Conqueror and saw the Bayeux Tapestry. Then we made our way to the Beaches. We were given a personal tour by one of my grandma's friends who loves history and who grew up in Normandy. We first went to Gold Beach, where the British landed. If you see on one of the pictures of the water you will see a cement block...those were used as a floating dock to anchor the ships and let the smaller boats go to shore. There are many of these still left in the water. It's amazing how much planning and strategic thought went into making D-Day a success.

Below is Omaha Beach, where the Americans landed.

This is the Cemetery for American soldiers. It is right above Omaha beach. It was very moving walking through and just looking at all the crosses, knowing each of them were someone who gave their life for freedom. There are around 9,000 graves there.

 This is a wall with all the names of the American men missing in action. There are around 1,500 men.

Here we are at Pointe du Hoc. This is a cliff, that was a strategic military control center with strong artillery and bunkers to control what was happening on the beaches it overlooked, Utah and Omaha. The Germans controlled it, but the Allied forces new they had to take control over it if their D-day plans were going to work. So they scaled the cliff in the face of German Artillery. They were successful in overtaking it.

These ditches are left from bombs that landed here.

Wreckage from the bunkers.

Overlooking part of Omaha Beach

Overlooking Utah Beach

This is a memorial stone for the men who scaled the cliffs and overtook the Germans on the Point

German Bunker

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Paris...Day 1 & 2...

Here's are a couple pictures of our apartment here in Paris. It's very modernized
 Our view from the apartment

 The first thing we did after settling into our apartment is walk over to the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was about a 10 min walk for us. 

 Then we walked to the Louvre.

 The next day we took the Met to the Eiffel Tower. It was so neat to see in person! There is so much intricate metal work involved in it. 

 In the elevator on the way up the Eiffel Tower.


 Next we went to the Arc de Triomphe and then walked all the way down the Champs-Elysees

This is the monument showing where the Guillotine stood during the French Revolution
 There are a few of these ponds near and they are always surrounded with people reading, sleeping, talking and such.

The Gardens near the Louvre.

 And the grass is also filled with people.

Next we went into the Louvre. We especially wanted to see the Mona Lisa.


And we stopped to get an icecream! I like how they served it!

 Last evening we took a boat ride down the Seine River to see the lights of Paris. It was beautiful.

Every hour for the first 5 minutes the Eiffel Tower sparkles with lights so we watched that.