Pure gold

Trip Start Jun 20, 2010
Trip End Jul 04, 2010

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Flag of France  , Basse-Normandie,
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We headed out earlish, after woofing down a pan au chocolat, hoping to work out where our campsite is but failing. After a very indirect route (the problems with not knowing where you are) we drove past 'Sword' and 'Juno' beaches and stopped at at 'Gold' beach.

From the view point above Gold you can see the whole beach - broad, golden and inviting looking - it is difficult to imagine the hell it must have been. A few remaining WWII artefacts remain up at the viewpoint, pill boxes and the like but most impressive is Port Winston - a hastily built port made of huge concrete blocks towed from the English coast that stretches right across the bay. It was built so the allied troops didn't need to capture any existing, well fortified and defend, ports. A second was built further up but was swept away in a huge (it would have had to have been!) storm two weeks after D-Day - hard to believe when you see the size of the blocks. Fitting there is a memorial to the Royal Engineers at the view point.

After a quick lunch in Arromanches and a stroll on the beach we took a trip to Bayeux. As well as apparently being home to a big tapestry (well its actually embroidered) Bayeux has a large war cemetery with mostly Commonwealth graves but also German, Czech, Polish and Soviet graves. It is a very moving place especially when you read the personal messages on the graves.

We took a quick tour of Bayeux and its fantastic cathedral and then finally found our way back to the campsite (in Dive-sur-Mer) taking another 'scenic' route.
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