Travelled : 23 miles to Grandcamp-Maisy
Visited : Longues-Sur-Mer, Omaha Beach, American Cemetery (Colleville), Pointe du Hoc.
Stay: Grandcamp-Maisy, Normandy, Municipal campsite €7 with services.
Having visited the tourist information centre in Pont-de-Bossen, we have a loose plan for the day. What Pam would say, war stuff !
Our first stop is Longues-Sur-Mur where a series of fixed gun emplacements line the cliff tops. Situated about 10 klm west of Arromanches, the tide is low and we can clearly see the remains of the Mulberry Harbour sunk into the bay a few days after D Day. We visited Arromanches with Rod and Julie in 2013 before striking south into Brittany. There is a wonderful aire here on the cliff top which isn’t noted on our data base.
We head further west to Omaha Beach and take a walk along the shore line. Nothing like it would have been 70 years before. There is a formal swimming beach and boat hire for canoes and catamarans. There are a number of memorials above the dunes to the various Battalions that fought and died there.
Only a short distance further to the American Cemetery. 175 acres in area with over 9,000 graves of the young Americans who died during the D Day landings as well as the battles for the hedgerows and villages of Northern Normandy. The cemetery is immaculately kept, it’s truly worth a visit. We were both struck by its beautiful view across the channel and it’s reverence.
Lastly we moved a few kilometres further west to Pointe du Hoc. This is the place the American Second Ranger Battalion stormed the cliffs to take the German fortifications over looking west Omaha. Done at a terrible cost it was discovered the main artillery pieces had been moved a week before the landings.
Calling enough, we travelled a few kilometres on to Grandcamp-Maisy and stop at the municipal campsite. After dinner we caught our second wind and walked down to the waterfront. It’s a very pleasant village. On the low tide the water retreats more than a kilometre out into the bay and nearly a hundred locals can be seen out in the bay with small nets and buckets looking for goodness knows what ? Pam states she’s not going out there to find out what !
Michael and Pam