Our 2014 tour looks to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the WW11 D-Day landings in Normandy France. Our tour takes place between 6-13 April 2014 starting at the D-Day Map room at Southwick House before commencing our landing operations in Normandy. Our tour will visit over 25 historical sites of D-Day including the iconic Pegasus Bridge.
Watch the film 'The Longest Day' to get a preview of some of the history and locations we'll be touring.
7 April 2014.
After safely navigating the short distance to our Hotel from the Ferry Last night we were well received in the Best Western Hotel and met by French fellow enthusiast Olivier Renaudin with his Morris 1100. Paul LeBlique joined us with his gorgeous Riley, a lovely and much admired rare 1100 variant.
Our first stop of the day was the Pegasus Bridge memorial where we were met by Roger Reeves from Holland in his Glider 1100 (rather poignant given the location) and were treated to an excellent presentation about the capture of Pegasus bridge and we saw the original Pegasus Bridge in the museum grounds and with bullet marks!!! A replica Horsa glider also sat in the museum grounds and we saw how thin the glider skin was and how many troops were squeezed in along with a jeep!
A visit to Pegasus isn't complete without a visit to the Gondree Cafe which is reputed to be the first house to be liberated in France. We were served by Arlette Gondree who was only 4 yrs old on D-Day and whose parents ran the Gondree cafe. Surely the most historic cafe you could wish to take tea in?
Next on our tour was the Caen Memorial Museum where a very generous free entry was afforded by fellow 1100 owner and Director of the museum Stephane Grimaldi. Thank you Stephane and we hope to have the opportunity to return the hospitality. The Caen Peace memorial museum was extremely informative and captures so much of the history of World War II and D-Day. We also had the opportunity to view the history of the Cold War and a German Command bunker.
Our last stop of the day was Musee Radar and the last remaining German Radar station of the War. The museum was specially opened for our club! A tour was provided around the Radar station and we were taken down into the Bunker and shown the conditions in which the soldiers lived. Thank you to Musee Radar for the informative tour and opening especially for our tour. Lastly a 30 drive along some very scenic and pot hole free French roads up to our main base for the week Arromanches.
Our French is improving along with finding somewhere to dine with 26 people.... Never easy when you turn up to an unknown location on spec!!!
Tomorrow morning we capitalise on the local attractions of the debarquement museum and Arromanches 360 Cinema before heading off to Juno Beach, site Hillman and the German Atlantic wall museum.