Day 6: Normandy, Caen, and Rouen
**I finally got the chance to upload some pictures so go back through my previous posts and look at them!**
Today we left the hotel at 8:45am (which had a ping pong table which we played on for three hours) and took the trip to the American Cemetery at Normandy. Because of the constraints of the tour, we only got to spend an hour there before we had to leave. We went into the visitor’s center and talked with Alison there who was very helpful and gave us a full booklet of information and French and American flags. She told us to place the American flag on the side near the coast and the French flag on the opposite to represent where the troops on D-Day. She also gave us a bucket of sand which we used to rub on the graves to make the letters stand out. I was really disappointed that we couldn’t see the bomb craters or empty machine gun nests. That, more than anything else in Paris, is what I was looking forward to the most. I would go back right after the tour, but I’ve already planned the first few weeks and I’m headed in the other direction.
After the American Cemetery, we went to Juno beach where the Canadians landed on D-Day. The beach is nothing like you would see in Florida – it is very flat and had mud instead of sand. Our group went on the beach and our professor read a very well written poem. After the beach, we went to a World War II museum in Caen and saw a 35min movie about the war. The room was pretty dark and there was no narration so I don’t think anyone remembers much of the movie.
We ate dinner at a modern restaurant in Rouen and then walked down the Seine to different bars. The first bar we walked in was, “American Bar” but there was nothing American about it and they only spoke French. They did have pool tables though with red and yellow balls but we didn’t play. We went out to one more bar and played a game of pool there. The tables are about the size of bar tables in the States but have much smaller balls and the table has rounded pockets – makes it pretty hard to shoot for the corner pocket down the rail. After that, we walked back across the Seine to our hotel and called it a night around midnight.