Saturday, July 4, 2015

Normandy and such

What a week!  We had our two day excursion to Normandy Thursday and Friday, and it was an awesome trip.  We started out Thursday morning with Le Mont Saint-Michel where we visited the Abbey at its peak and Sarah Kay gave an amazing guided tour.  Take a look at a picture of the group below:

Le Mont Saint-Michel

Afterwards we made our way to the city of Bayeux where we visited the museum and viewed the famous Bayeux Tapestry.  The tapestry itself is history as it has survived for centuries, but the story it tells of events important to the Norman conquest is also intricately depicted in hand-stiched scenes, that runs a total of 230 feet long.

Our final stop on day 1 of the excursion was La Pointe du Hoc, which was our first stop on our World War II part of the excursion.  It's really striking to see the effects of history, still present today, the craters left by bombs, and remains of German bunkers. 

We finished up day 1 at a hostel in Lion-sur-mer.  After dinner we walked the two minutes to the beach and played soccer and frisbee until the tide came in.  Some students even went for a dip.

Day 2 of the excursion started bright and early with breakfast at the hostel at 8am.  We then climbed back on the bus to make our way to the Caen Memorial, a museum dedicated to World War II history and its effect on our world. 

Le Mémorial de Caen
After lunch at the museum, we headed to the American Cemetery, first hiking down to Omaha Beach.  We had watched a film at the Caen Memorial which depicted the debarkment on D-Day at the beaches on the coast of France. Standing there looking at the same waves and sand that were once the site of an intense battle and where many lives were lost, was incredibly moving.

Following some time on the beach, we climbed back up to the cemetery, where the students visited at their own leisure.  At one point you could hear bells chiming that sang out the Star-Spangled Banner.  It was a touching experience.

Our last stop on this excursion was the German Cemetery.  The contrast between the two World War II cemeteries was striking.  While both had a somber tone, the German cemetery was much darker and simpler, with flat headstones, while those at the American Cemetery were upright and bright white, much like at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC.  Both cemeteries were a stark reminder however of the number of lives lost, and the price that humanity paid during this war.

Photos from our excursion in Normandy can be found at the link below.


Earlier in the week, we celebrated the birthday of Abby Jones and we tasted delicious desserts made by the Blanc group.  Photos from the birthday celebration have been added to the birthday folder at the link below.


And photos from the desserts can be found here:


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