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Five reasons to travel to Normandy France

Normandy France

Normandy France coastline

Twenty years ago today, I was lucky to see the 49th anniversary of D-Day ceremonies at Pointe De Hoc and Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Today is the 69th anniversary of this historic landings. This event would change the world and proved the beginning of the end to the NAZI empire thanks to the already enormous sacrifices taken on by the Soviet Union.

I have not been back for twenty years to Normandy, but I think about it often and my month stay studying World War II. I know after twenty years a lot has changed, but I am certain that Normandy is still an amazing part of France due to these five factors.

5. The Scenery:

Normandy is full of beautiful small towns once ablaze with clashing armies with buildings in rubble and dead cows lying everywhere. Scenes of chaos are long gone and the streets now wind their way through towns that look just like they did 69 years ago and one day ago before the roar of war came through.

Normandy France

Normandy France countryside

Out in the countryside the farm fields are dotted with living cows spotted brown and white. The fields give way to the English Channel and little seaside villas where bunkers encased in stone concrete remind us this area was once fortified to the teeth. Beautiful beaches and amazing cliffs dot the coastline from Cherbourg to Cannes.

Normandy France

Checking out fresh seafood at a market

4. The food:

Normandy is known for two food items: dairy and seafood. I never ate so well the month I was in Normandy. Steaming fresh mussels served in a creamy sauce was one dish I will never forget. Every dish I was served seemed to have a different type of cream sauce better than the first.

3. The history

Normandy France

Can you imagine this view in Normandy France 69 years ago today

Even before World War II, Normandy had a rich ancient history topped by William Conqueror and the Bayeaux Tapestry. When the Allies landed in 1944 on Sword, Juno, Gold, Utah, and Omaha Beach the place became enshrined forever in military history lore. The movie Saving Private Ryan brought new found notoriety to the region.

Normandy France

German big guns as part of the Atlantic Wall in Normandy France

I remember every little town had its own World War II museum filled with interesting artifacts and newspaper clippings from the day. The best was the museum in Caen.  The beaches themselves are of course living memorials with the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach a sacred stopping ground for Americans. Everywhere you go there are reminders of the conflict to the craters at Pointe Du Hoc to the mulberry ports at Arromanche to the Atlantic Wall bunkers that dot the coast.

2. Calvados and Cider:

Another item Normandy is known for is apples. The region makes amazing alcoholic and non-alcoholic cider. The most notable is calvados, which is a strong liquor, which has quite a kick to it. A must try experience for anyone visiting Normandy.

Normandy France

A French bar owner in Caen warmly welcomes us in Normandy France

1. The people

The French are known to be proud, stubborn, and sometimes not very welcoming especially in Paris. I think the reputation is more myth than reality; however, in any country the capital city and bigger cities will be full of less approachable people. Most people come to only Paris when they visit France, so a lot of this reputation is from people visiting Paris. I never had a problem with anyone in Paris, but in Normandy the people were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

I cannot wait to return and visit this beautiful region in this incredible country. Normandy, France was my first notable overseas travel experience, and I fell in love with travel, Normandy, and France thanks to the experience.

TT

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11 Responses to Five reasons to travel to Normandy France

  1. new york baseball tickets June 6, 2013 at 11:11 am #

    Absolutely agree. Normandy is a fantastic place to visit. Can’t wait to go there again. 🙂

  2. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures June 6, 2013 at 2:30 pm #

    I’m sold! 🙂

    • Ted Nelson June 9, 2013 at 12:56 am #

      You would love it Andi, and they do have beaches although the swimming might be a bit cold.

  3. Jeremy Branham June 6, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Very appropriate post for D Day anniversary! I was in France on this date in 2004 – the 60 year anniversary. Not only was it a celebration in which Germany attended for the first time, it was also one day after Reagan died. Very memorable experience in France that day.
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..What the USA vs Canada soccer match taught me about travel

    • Ted Nelson June 9, 2013 at 12:58 am #

      I remember you mentioning that in a previous post. Great to hear you were in France on that day. I bet it was interesting viewpoint being in France on this memorable day.

  4. Lance Wiedower June 9, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    I wish I could have experienced Normandy during one of the anniversaries, especially 20 years ago when more of the veterans would have been there. I was just happy to visit last year in May. It’s a moving place, a very beautiful region and the people are very friendly.
    Lance Wiedower recently posted..Remembering D-Day in Normandy

    • Ted Nelson June 9, 2013 at 6:36 pm #

      I couldn’t agree more. Normandy is a place I have to get back to.

  5. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs July 27, 2013 at 2:55 pm #

    I love Normandy, it is such a great region!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted..From the Road: Baku – Qusar

    • Ted Nelson July 29, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

      One of my favorite spots in the world Marysia. I love it too for many reasons.

  6. Sylvia October 9, 2013 at 1:45 pm #

    Never been there but reading your blog and seeing the pictures, it will be my next place to visit.:)

    • Ted Nelson October 20, 2013 at 12:36 am #

      I highly recommend. Was my favorite place in all of France although the rest of the country is amazing too.

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