WW2 Normandy trip courtesy of Brian – Fri 9th May 2014

Day 2:    I was awoken by a friendly cat outside my window but never saw it again during our stay.  We set off for breakfast and we really did have our fill for the day ahead.  I broke my own personal record by having nine croissants with jam and four pains au chocolate.   The plan was to ride to Pointe du Hoc, but we soon decided that thanks to the ongoing wind in our faces that this was a bit ambitious.

First stop was the German Battery at Longues Sur Mer, this is very impressive with the guns in the casemates.  Next we made a stop at a cider farm en-route where after a little bit of tasting we all filled our water bottles with the cider of our choice before setting off to Omaha Beach.  We visited the superb Overlord Museum at Omaha which has some really unique and rare items on display and then headed off to the American Cemetery to visit the museum and pay our respects.  This was full of Americans who in true over the top style saw lots of saluting and anthem singing.  Feeling sick, we headed down to the sands on Omaha Beach as Steve had never walked on a D-Day landings beach before.


 Omaha Beach at bottom of cemetery

 This was a part of the beach that I had never previously visited and from our position we could see a Bunker complex in the distance that we thought might be WN62, a famous Bunker responsible for causing a lot of death and destruction amongst the 29th Infantry Division on Omaha.


Steve on top of one of the Bunkers at WN62

We decided that time was still on our side so we decided to wander over for a closer look.  It did turn out to be WN62 and was most impressive and although Mark had been there before, I have been trying (on and off) to find it for years.  I don’t know how I missed it really.   We now started to head back (with the wind in our favour at last) stopping off at Port en Bessin for lunch in nice sunshine.  We settled on a bench overlooking the harbour whilst Steve went for more cider, it is against the law to drink outside of a bar, so Steve decanted the cider into our water bottles so as not to draw attention.

Lunch finished, we set off to visit the underwater wreck museum which was just outside the Port.  We settled down to watch the museum video and all fell asleep, this prompted us to skip the rest of the film and crack on, the plan being to get back washed and changed and into Arromanches at a decent hour.


Sherman DD Tank at Underwater Wreck Museum

We had a good tail wind and no rain so we made good progress; we were ready to go out and in the hotel bar by 1915 hrs.  Once again Erik insisted in driving us into Arromanches at no cost, although we insisted that we walk back despite his protestations.

We did a quick recce of Arromanches (Gold Beach) and found a nice restaurant for dinner in the centre of town.  We had a good meal washed down by more cider before we started to walk back to the hotel, uphill on unlit roads.  It sounded like a good idea at the time.  Every time a car came along we moved into the verge, Steve actually fell into one.  One car passed us and then locked his brakes up; it was it a bit worrying that they never noticed us until they had passed us.

Normandy pic6

 Brian Mark & Steve at Arromanches

It took us forty minutes to walk the 2.5 miles back to the hotel.  Erik and Carol were there waiting (or so it seemed) for us before opening the bar for more beer.  Erik and his brother-in-law joined us for drinks and we talked about the various sites we had been to or were going to visit.

It was during a drink of Calvados that Erik’s brother-in-law mentioned that he was very good friends with Bernard Hinault, the five times winner of the Tour de France.

Mark got all excited and had a trouser movement at this point and having forced down his Calvados started talking about clip less peddles.  We know how to have fun.  We eventually retired to our room and settled down, this time without Steve crashing into things.

Summary: Riding time: 3:32:06

Distance:  31.28 miles

Av Speed:  10.6 mph

Max Speed:  32.1 mph

Calories: 2381

Elevation Gain:  307m

Av Temp:  18.4 c


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