France 2015 Day 5 – Normandy Beach and Mont St. Michel

It was a busy day ahead with lots of driving. Distance to cover from city to city could be quite a lot to handle, especially with kids.

Woke up early, packed and checked out. Drove the church of Saint Jeanne, better known as Joan of Arc. Unfortunately the church was opened from 10am onwards and we couldn’t wait. Took some photos and left.

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Church of Saint Jeanne.

Our next stop was Normandy Beach. This place was the pivoting point of the WWII with the Allies coming in from the north through operation Overlord and took over key positions from the Germans and eventually defeating them. There were plenty of museums scattered throughout the region but we chose to visit the Musee of debarquement. It was quite a small museum so we didn’t take too much time either. After the visit and buying of some books on D day from the internal shop, we went a little window shopping on the clothing there before heading to the next stop, Pointe du Hoc.

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Musee du Débarquement.

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Stories of allies.

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Exhibit.

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Shopping street near the museum.

This was another interesting location on WWII. From here we could see the old German defense installations facing out towards the sea. These concrete structures were still left behind for people to visit. When we were there, we saw a lot of American visitors, but no surprises as this location was where the American troops launched their offensive and captured this impossible site, scaling the cliffs. It was quite a substantial area to explore but we didn’t walk too long. Furthermore, without a guide most of the stuff didn’t make much sense.

View of the beach at Pointe du Hoc. Challenging position for the allies.

View of the beach at Pointe du Hoc. Challenging position for the allies.

What's left of the installations at Pointe du Hoc.

What’s left of the installations at Pointe du Hoc.

Memorial for the brave rangers.

Memorial for the brave rangers.

One of the original observation bunkers.

One of the original observation bunkers.

From the huge carpark in Pointe Du Hoc, we drove towards Mont Saint Michel. The drive was similar to yesterday’s, a mixture of different roads. As we didn’t have lunch at the attractions, we stopped by at the service station for lunch. Even then, the cooked food wasn’t available anymore and we had to settle for pastries again.

Lunch at the service station.

Lunch at the service station.

It was a long drive (more than 1,5hrs) to Mont Saint Michel and baby was cranky as he wanted to sleep but was uncomfortable enough to do so. After a lot of crying, he finally slept.

By the time we arrived at MSM, it was almost 6. Le Relais Du Roy was the hotel for the night and it was within a village of other hotels. Control of traffic into this village was through a passcode activated barrier and so I had to call to the hotel to ask for one. As there was some construction going on on the road, the one way traffic then was managed by a portable traffic light. Hotel parking was also a makeshift one on the opposite side of the hotel.

Bedroom.

Bedroom.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Le Relais du Roy,

Le Relais du Roy,

We were given a hotel on the first floor after check in and thankfully not many steps. The room has a balcony that had a view of MSM. Yet again, it was a simple hotel.

We left for MSM immediately after putting down the stuff, before baby got tired and slept. There was a free shuttle bus every 8mins and so we boarded the bus that was waiting at the bay. It wasn’t long before we were at the end of the bridge at the bottom of MSM. It was still low tide then.

Shuttle bus stop.

Shuttle bus stop.

Shuttle bus that ferried the visitors to and from the village.

Shuttle bus that ferried the visitors to and from the village.

Close up shot of MSM.

Close up shot of MSM.

Took some photos and went explore the town that had houses built alongside a slope that spiraled upwards. Shops were starting to close but we managed some shopping before continuing to climb. Didn’t walk through everything, because it was all too tiring with the baby and the baby bags.

Within the castle walls.

Within the castle walls.

Streets within MSM.

Streets within MSM.

Cathedral at the top of the peak.

Cathedral at the top of the peak.

Many stair ways like a maze.

Many stair ways like a maze.

View of tide coming in.

View of tide coming in.

Took the shuttle bus back but we missed a stop. In the end, we took to the end and boarded again to our hotel. By the time we arrived it was 8ish and we had to rush bathing and cleaning and putting the baby to sleep.

We thought there were takeaways and unfortunately, none of the restaurants I asked have. As a result we didn’t get to have any dinner as all the restaurants were closing. We settled for the biscuits that we bought during the day. Long daylight gave the impression that it was still early.

I wanted to capture the sunset and the MSM light up and only managed to do so at about 1030pm onwards because the day was still bright. I walked to as close as possible to MSM only to find that it was low tide. Too bad, settled for whatever shots I could take.

Everlasting sunlight till 9pm.

Everlasting sunlight till 9pm.

The day was really long and I fell asleep rather quickly, after all the photo taking and walking in the cold.

Lights up of MSM in the twilight close to midnight.

Lights up of MSM in the twilight close to midnight.

ziyi

About ziyi

A travel addict from the little red dot otherwise known as Singapore. Started blogging during travel to help the aging forgetful mind remember the experience of each destination.

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