Only a short distance from our shores in the UK, lies Normandy in the Northern part of France. It’s picturesque landscape and local seaside fishing villages makes it an ideal spot to holiday for those looking for a relaxing holiday. Although, anyone remotely familiar with the history of WWII will know how much of a significant place Normandy was, and the battles that took place here were iconic, such movies like Saving Private Ryan are set on the famous Omaha Beach. Although, Normandy is most famous with WWI, it’s also just as famous for the ancient tapestries.
Travelling around Normandy you will be let mesmerised with the sheer beauty of the place, and you’ll find it hard to believe that some of the most horrific battles took place here. Some of the small villages, look almost the same as they did at the time, so you can really get a feeling of what it must of been like for the soldiers. You’ll most noticeably bump in to a lot of American and Canadian travellers, most probably stepping in the same footsteps as their forefathers, and retracing their tracks. I got talking to a few and it was, and the stories they told were very interesting.
The people of Normandy go against any stereo type you may of heard about French people, these people are very friendly and helpful and welcome Brits. What I really loved about Normandy was the antique and second hand shops, where you could buy some really interesting WWII souvenirs – a lot of artefacts such as bullet shells are still found around the area. Although, don’t try and bring any weapons back on the plane or train as you’ll get yourself in to a lot of trouble! you’d be surprised how many people try this, even though the bombs and shells are deactivated or dud – it’s still a one way route to getting into causing a few problems!
I took a trip to Omaha beach, and you wouldn’t think that this was a beach that saw thousands upon thousands of men die, the water was blood stained – but now your greeted with golden sandy beaches with clear blue water. You walk up some steps and you enter the American War Memorial, which is well kept, immaculate one may say. It’s a sad place to visit but anyone interested in history remotely will find it a very worthwhile visit.
Normandy isn’t too expensive either, food and drink are cheaper than that of the UK, and they have a good transport system – both trains and busses, so you’ll have no trouble getting around the region. You’ll also be grateful to know that most people speak English to a good level, so you won’t have a problem ordering food and drinks. As well as being indulging in lots of WWII history, you’ll find many castles and cathedrals in the region too.
I would personally say that just like many other places that play a big part in history, Normandy is a great place to visit and get to grips with it’s history. If you have any children learning about WWII, then they’d greatly benefit from a trip to Normandy.