Part 2: Normandy

Now it’s time to talk all about Normandy. I loved it here. The french countryside was exactly how you would picture a quaint, little village surrounded by farm land to look like. Every place was filled with stone buildings, greenery, and the smell of a farm. I think I loved it so much because it was where some of my ancestors came from. But going back to chronological order, lets start with where I left off, the ferry.

So that morning I had to get up at 4:45am, because we had to be off the boat by 5:30am. Everyone were zombies that morning, following each other with our suitcases trailing behind. We all huddled into a bus station to wait for our buses to arrive.

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When our buses finally arrived we left immediately to go on our tour. We drove for over a hour to get to our first stop, where we confronted some of D-Day’s artifacts. This trip in Normandy revolves around D-Day. If you don’t know what that is, I will give you a brief explanation. It was a surprise invasion on the Germans by the Americans, British, and Canadians. There were 5 beaches, code named Omaha, Utah, Sword, Gold, and Juno. The Allies won the battle and got control over France again from the Axis powers.  It was a turning point in WWII.

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Then, it was time to get a little bit closer to the most famous beach, Omaha. We jumped on the bus again and drove to an edge that over looked its sands.

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After this quick visit, the most important came next. We all drove to the American cemetery for the WWII victims killed during D-Day. It was spectacular! I did not expect it at all, completely blew me away. It was almost like an honor to be able to actually go there in real life. I can’t wait to bring my dad someday, because he is crazy about wars and things like this.

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After, because we were so close to Omaha, we decided to actually go on the beach. I got my empty water bottle ready, and basically ran to the beach.

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By this point, everyone was starting to get hungry. So we stopped by the La Douleur m’a Brisee La Friteuse museum to have a look around, eat, and go through the gift shop.

The line for the sandwiches was so long, that Me, Rachel, Hannah, and Kristen all decided to eat at the restaurant down stairs. This was my first french meal, and it was perfect. I got a Croustade de norte région et sa pomme fruit au four. Which basically is crunchy Normandy cheeses (they are crunchy because they are wrapped with filo dough) served with a baked apple.

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In the picture with the water bottle and Hannah (who will probably kill me for posting this picture) we had a funny dilemma. It was only a few days into the trip, and we did not want to be sent home. The reason for our concern was that we were not sure if the bottle had alcohol or water. Our teachers were right behind us and we didn’t know what to do. It looked like alcohol because of the glass bottle and the people dancing around on the label. We smelt it, but it didn’t smell like anything. So we cautiously poured some in my glass to try. It was water. We were making such a big deal over water, plain old water! It was so funny, all the french people around us were starring at us like we were crazy. At least now I know that people in France can have a good time drinking water too.

Then we did a quick exploration of the museum and gift shop, because the restaurant took a lot of our time up.

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Now was our time to see some real gun bunkers. We left the museum and drove to where there were a couple of the gun bunkers, and massive bomb craters still visible in the ground. It was a really beautiful landscape. Hard to picture actual fighting of a world war happening there.

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Once we were done there, we said good bye to MJ (I remembered her name), our tour guide, and left for the hotel! This was the hotel gate, and the building itself. We were told that Nazis used to come here for vacation, so the building was very old, but beautiful.

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At this hotel, Me and Rachel roomed with Kristen and Hannah, and we had one of the best rooms. Everyone would either come to our room, or the boy’s room across the hall.

This is me sitting at our window, which we also used as a door sometimes.

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Down below, by the creek, there was a little pavement court where two soccer nets were set up. I walked down and jumped right into the soccer game that was forming. By the time we started everyone was either playing or watching. Even a couple of teachers played. It was one of my favorite memories from the trip, especially after I scored the tying goal toward the end before dinner. I also want to add that on the second night we played another game. Before we started we said that if the ball gets kicked out of the fence then that person has to go retrieve it. The people at the hotel also said that if we lost the soccer ball, we would have to pay 8 euros to replace it. So during the game, one of the boys accidentally kicked the ball right over the fence and into the creek. As it floated down the current, he raced out of the court to the creek’s edge. Unsure of what to do he looked back at us gathered by the gate corner. I yelled “jump in and get in!” and that is what he did. He walked right into the smelly creek, fully clothed, and swam down to get the ball. It was a monumental moment for him when he got it, I could tell.

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This was our hotel room.

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So on day two, we went to breakfast to fuel us for the day’s upcoming adventures. We all piled onto the buses, and that is when Helen and Simon told us that we were going to Mont St Michel! I didn’t actually think we were going here, but I am so glad we did. It’s not like anything you would see anywhere else. We got there when the tides were low, so the sand stretchered far out, and we left when high tide was coming in. The history was very interesting. If you want to know more you could just type in Mont St Michel history and it will probably come up before you finish typing it into Google.

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It was such a magnificent village, carved out of the stone that covered the island. The energy was so spiritual and ancient, I was sucked right in. They had the more touristy places on the street that you entered the island on. There was one place that our tour guide recommended to us right at the entrance. It was some kind of omelet that is famous in Normandy. I really wanted to try it, so when we were finished with the tour, we descended the stair cases, all the way down. I brought my friends all the way to the first restaurant, which took awhile. We got a table in this fancy restaurant, and picked up our menus. Our jaws dropped at the same time. The lowest price was 49 euros. Half the menu cost 49 euros and the other 69 euros. They all looked at me. How was I suppose to know an omelet would cost that much money! So I had to be the one to tell the waitress that we were late for our bus and had to leave right away before we can order. We got out of there pretty quick.

After Mont St Michel, we went down to a little town to go shopping, and buy a couple sweets.

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We spend some time there exploring, meeting some nice people who seemed so happy with their lives. Every single one of them. Actually now that I am thinking of it, everyone I saw in Normandy seemed very happy and content with their lives. It was really inspiring to me.

To end the days tour we went to more, larger bunkers. They were surrounded by one of the hundreds of canola fields. The canola flowers were also one of my favorite memories from the trip. In the bus rides, I would look out the window at all the yellow flowers, and they made me so happy!

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You may see this canola plant in the future, I had to save it to be pressed!

The next morning we left Normandy to go to Paris. I was sad to go, but also enchanted by the thought of me being in Paris. Here are the last few pictures I took of Normandy while I was on the bus that morning.

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I loved it here. Its endless beauty and wonders kept me on my toes! The hotel was my favorite of all the places I stayed at. I liked its vintage and cute vibe. My next post will be me arriving in Paris! Once again, I am so excited to be able to post these adventures of mine for you to read, and I really hope you enjoy reading them as I do experiencing them. Au revoir!

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