Trip Start May 23, 2010
12Trip End Jun 26, 2010
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On Saturday, the first place we went was the WWII memorial museum. We watched a 30 minute movie with real scenes from the war. It was interesting because the screen was divided into two, and one side showed what the Allies were doing, and the other side showed what the Germans and the Axis powers were doing. It showed me a new perspective because at first you couldn't tell which side was which, and it made you realize there might not have been a "good" side and a "bad" side, but everyone was a human being fighting
After the museum, we went to Omaha Beach and visited the American cemetery. I realized that 10,000 people had died during the Battle for Normandy, but I hadn't quite grasped the vastness of that number. That's 10,000 people who died fighting for America's freedom. Out of the 10,000, there were 1,500 graves that are unmarked. It was so sad to think that so many families didn't have closure knowing the whereabouts of their loved ones.
Pointe du Hoc was after Omaha Beach, and that was actually pretty frightening. The German bunkers were left pretty untouched by erosion since the War, so we could see where they lived while they were waiting for the Allies. There were still massive bomb craters, as well. What was the scariest was that Pointe du Hoc is just CLIFFS. The Americans had to climb up 90 degree cliffs and then come face-to-face with the Germans.
We also went to a cider mill that day, called Ferme de la Sapinere. Sapinere is the family who runs the farm, and it's been in their family for seven generations
That night we stayed in Caen, and it was really pretty and had a lot of history, (William the Conqueror grew up there in the 11th century) but I still like Paris the best! The next morning we took off for Mont-St-Michel! That was the most amazing experience ever! It was amazing that something that difficult had been built on top of a mountain! And it was so massive; we spent an hour with our tour guide and we didn't even see a third of it. St-Michel is my favorite place I've been on this trip so far. I had always wanted to see it, especially because I took a class about medieval monasticism last semester, and it was way more beautiful in person than in pictures. It was fascinating to hear about the monks' lives, too. They were basically "slaves to God," as our guide put it, and they spent every day praying, chanting, and working.
This week I start my French class, and next weekend I'm going to the Loire Valley! I'm really excited to see all the chateaux I've learned about in school and to really be able to learn how to communicate with the people better!