The forecast was for Paris to reach 37 degrees C by Friday. So we decided that we needed to get somewhere coastal. We had already decided and agreed with family and friends that we would make the trip to the Normandy beaches which we had planned as a group but had been delayed for 2 years due to Covid. Our ferry home has been booked from Cherbourg.
So we decided to we head straight to Caen for some cooler weather and spend the week on our tour. Only one wrong turn 😮 to leave Paris, we had an easy steady drive to Caen.
We are installed once again on a private Camping Car Park aire, which looks brand new and is absolutely immaculate. It is literally next door to the Memorial de Caen museum which we had planned to visit.
We had some lunch and walked the dogs again to the American Memorial Garden behind the museum. It centres on an infinity pool which pools into a waterfall and pond below. It is nicely restful and contains plaques and even lumps of rock from the US states who lost lives.
Next stop was the Memorial de Caen museum. It tells the story of World War II from the Versailles Treaty, 1920’s economic collapse all the way through to Victory in Europe and Victory in Japan. There is even a section on the Cold War and beyond which we just ran out of time to see. There is lots of memorabilia – rations soap, toys, leaflets, posters, uniforms, weaponry etc etc alongside photos and films. It tells the wide history of WWII. There is as you imagine, for a museum located here, a large exhibition focussing on D-Day but also the large loss of civilian life as the allies bombed a 250km radius to cut off potential German reinforcement. I certainly feel like I have learned quite a bit, especially around the detail around D-Day on 6th June 1944, which forces took which beaches, the objective versus the outcome. Also about the weeks of fighting that followed until Paris was liberated on 25th August, much of which was centred around this area.
The museum was much bigger than we imagined and we easily have spent longer there. However, we arrived in the afternoon and do not like to leave the dogs for too long. We would certainly recommend a visit and it has certainly given me a better knowledge to embark on our Normandy tour.