This morning I headed back to Lille where I will catch the Eurostar high speed train back to London tomorrow. Along the way I explored Utah Beach; then stopped briefly in Bayeux to visit the Normandy Battle Memorial and Museum; and my last stop was in Caen to visit the Memorial there.
I was going to go only part way back to Lille today, but I made good time on the 130 kph freeways and I didn't feel like wasting time looking for a hotel along the way so I just went straight to the hotel I stayed at in Lille last week.
All of my good photos from today are from Utah Beach, the western most of the D-Day beaches and the second of two landed by the USA, the other was Omaha. Utah was the bloodiest of all the beaches and I believe over 3000 US solders were killed on that beach on June 6, 1944. At the east end of Utah beach I made a visit to the Utah Beach Landing Museum. This museum is another put together by the locals and it originally dates back to the early 60's. The man who is responsible for the success of this museum is a local fellow, who was the mayor at one time, and a fellow who was wrongly shot and wounded by the Americans during D-Day or shortly there after.
Most of these photos don't need any explanation.
There is plenty the old German WWII defence system still around along Utah beach.
Note the wide open space in the next photos. That's Utah beach at low tide like it was on D-Day.
Part of an old bridge from the invasion.
The Utah Beach Landing Museum. It's built around one of the German bunkers.
Let's hope that peoples' memories of WWII and its human cost don't fade with time like this tank is.
One interesting thing about the Utah Beach Landing Museum is the many models it has of the D-Day invasion like this one below.
Well, this is my last report from France and continental Europe. Tomorrow I cross that channel back to England where I will spend the last two weeks of my European vacation touring around in a rental car and learning how to drive on the other side of the road.
Yes, in just over two weeks I will be back in Canada and I am really looking forward to it, especially after my visit to the Canadian Juno Beach center the other day where there were showing videos of various parts of Canada.