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View Full Version : OT: Normandie, France, June 6 - any advice on places to stay/things to see?



Ketalar
02-10-2004, 05:13 PM
Hi y'all!

I'm trying to plan a trip to Normandie, France, this coming June, and I'd like to hear if anyone on this forum has any suggestions regarding places to stay (not top end...), places to go to, and more.

We're including Le Mont Saint-Michel and a bunch of parks amongst others, but we'll also visit the historic parts. I'm grateful for any feedback (other than "This is an IL-2:FB forum, go ask somewhere else!"). http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

Ketalar
02-10-2004, 05:13 PM
Hi y'all!

I'm trying to plan a trip to Normandie, France, this coming June, and I'd like to hear if anyone on this forum has any suggestions regarding places to stay (not top end...), places to go to, and more.

We're including Le Mont Saint-Michel and a bunch of parks amongst others, but we'll also visit the historic parts. I'm grateful for any feedback (other than "This is an IL-2:FB forum, go ask somewhere else!"). http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

stelr
02-10-2004, 06:47 PM
YES! Get your buns to Ste Marie Eglise (hope I spelled that right)to watch the 82D jump and mix with the old WWII paratroopers from 82D and 101st who jumped there on 6 June 44. This year is the 60th anniversary and much is planned. Best part is the drinking until 0-dark-30 in a small bar on the corner across from the church plaza. (Just follow the trail of empty bottles and drunk paratroopers.) The old troopers call it "the headquarters" while they are there. And believe me these guys can still drink until dawn and raise hell the next day.

As much as people describe the French as aloof and not friendly to strangers...not so in Normandy. Salt of the earth folks up there. I was there making the re-enactment jump two years ago, and was billeted with an older couple who lived in a nice house on the edge of town. They were actually living in the area as teenagers when the invasion came. Pulled out their scrap book and showed me all the pics of them and the German soldiers of the Field Artillery battery that were stationed on their farm. They didn't speak a word of english and I spoke no french, but we had great conversations the whole week over a few bottles of homebrew they make in the local area (forgot what it's called...but strong).

I'm sure there are re-enactments planned as well on the beaches nearby (probably OMAHA). Each town has a ceremony, including Carentan. Prior to and after the jump we spent each day going from village to village laying wreaths.

Best part is talking to the old folks that were there on D-Day. This will be their last hurrah, so if you ever plan to go...this is the year!

Good luck, and have fun. Hope the weather holds for you. It's a bit tricky that time of year.

v/r
Stel
AKA "Machek"

http://home.nc.rr.com/stel/LTCSTEL11.jpg

Chuck_Older
02-10-2004, 06:53 PM
Well, the cemetary is a must-visit, so you can pay your respects.

*****************************
the sergeant will for, his sergeant's pay, obey the captain 'till his dying day~ Clash

Zeus-cat
02-10-2004, 07:31 PM
1) The U.S. cemetery. Very, very moving place. The U.S. government department that maintains the cemeteries does a fantastic job with these memorials.

2) The beach is right below the cemetery.

3) The village of Arromanche to see the remains of the artificial harbor. The museum is small, but fantastic.

4) Point du Hoc to see the cliffs the Rangers scaled. The gun emplacements and bunkers are still there, as well as shell craters deep enough that you have to look up to see out of the hole.

5) The German cemetery 15-20 miles away (see reference below). Very austere compared to the U.S. and British cemeteries. Buried in pairs, many of the graves are marked - "One German Soldier" or "Two German Soldiers" as the retreating Germans did not claim their dead and many could not be identified by the Allies.

I highly recommend that you stay in Bed and Breakfasts. You stay in people's houses or in an addition that has been built on to the main house. We stayed at an apple farm 2 miles from the Omaha beach and the cemetery. The home owners spoke little English, but we still communicated well enough. Staying in B&B's you get to know the people better and you can meet some fascinating fellow travelers over breakfast or in the evening.

Rick Steves (PBS show and any guidebooks on Europe) has excellent guide books on how to travel this way. Pack light, eat local and stay in B&B's. We always do and love it.

Zeus-cat

Ketalar
02-11-2004, 04:31 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. Any French players out there with advice? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

XyZspineZyX
02-11-2004, 04:56 PM
Bed and Breakfasts:

Get a MICHELIN guide; they're GOLD. Those things are full of places to stay, big and small, seedy to 4-star, with on- and off-season pricing (and numbers to call ahead, if that's your wont). You can slash hundreds off any tour of Europe by avoiding American chain hotels and doing the hostel/B&B route.

They also have detailed maps of even small towns

ptthome
02-11-2004, 05:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Ketalar:
Thanks for the replies guys. Any French players out there with advice? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-wink.gif<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Hi - I live just down the road from there,
Yes Mont St Michel is a cracker - not to be missed. But if yr looking for something unusual
and IL2 related visit the Normandie Niemen Museum in "Les Andelys" - it's 30 minutes south down the seine from Rouen.

it has a load of memorabilia and photos and the story of
the french fighter squadron that fought for the russians on the eastern front -b flying yak3s 9s etc.

http://perso.club-internet.fr/ptthome/vulogo3.JPG

jensenpark
02-11-2004, 05:09 PM
No advise, but please take lots of photos and post them for us to see!

http://images.ucomics.com/images/doonesbury/strip/thecast/duke2.jpg

"Death before unconsciousness" - Uncle Duke

NN_Veverka
02-11-2004, 05:33 PM
Ste Mere L'Eglise
Les Andelys (look at my name, even if it's no longer actual): very IL2 related
The Caen Memorial: http://www.memorial-caen.fr/portail/resa/en/circuits.asp

The Cemetaries
If you go to Mont St Michel, also take some hours for Saint Malo: beautiful Medieval city (not WWII related). Far better than St Michel imo (which is way too touristic, blech)

on a side note, I might be there (in Normandy) at the time of the celebration.
Try to reserve way ahead, lot of people are expected.....

NimbusPlus
02-11-2004, 06:15 PM
The Mont Saint Michel is really nice. That's true there's often a lot of tourists there though, but it's beautiful. As Veverka said, Saint Malo is also a nice place, with a lot of history.

I'm not from there, these were the only places I visited, sorry I can't help more. Ah yes, and if you go farther away, Rouen is a beautiful city too .

Enjoy your trip! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://ee.1asphost.com/julienag/il2_Z_SIG.jpg

redlte
02-11-2004, 06:31 PM
Stay overnight at Mont St. Michel - you should be able to find hotels there, as we did a few years back. Walking the cobblestone streets at night, and viewing it at night from a distance, are things not to be missed. A very special place!
P.S. - I promise you that, before you leave, you will take at least one photo duplicating that seen in all tourist books - the Isle in the background, with a fishing boat aground in the foreground at low tide, tilted towerds its side.

Ketalar
02-14-2004, 06:38 AM
Thanks guys, lots of helpful info! Got me the Lonely Planet book covering Normandy yesterday, going to check up on all the info here in it.

Any more French people awake now? http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

VonShlagnoff
02-14-2004, 06:44 AM
All of the above and the german cemetary at Marigny, and the commonwealth one in Bayeux.
Very Good. Utah beach is good too.