October 25, 2022


I’m in Arromanches-les-Bains.

(You didn’t notice me opening google maps to find out where I am.)

Our tour guide gave us 1.5 hours of free time to buy souvenirs, look at a museum and have lunch. I didn’t want to do any of those things! So have had a stroll along the water front and climbed a hill to go look at a tank. I would be looking over the English Channel as I write, but that would mean dangling my legs over a stone wall with some dozens drop down to the beach. Instead I am sitting on the safe side of the wall and listening to the waves behind me. There are also seagulls with French accents and tourists eating ice cream and fish and chips. Also it’s fun running into other members of my group and finding out what they got up to (mostly all of them had fish and chips for lunch.)

(View from the tank)

Today is D-Day day on the tour. We had a briefing about details of the landings at D-Day Academy first thing this morning. This is a real place, and reminds me of the BC Forest Discovery Centre, only with guns and WWII objects instead of old forestry equipment. I am not usually interested in military manoeuvres, but our academy instructor gave a good overview.

Next was a visit and memorial service at the small British cemetery. (We made a detour yesterday to visit the Canadian cemetery and check out Juno beach – additions made to the tour because there are three Canadians.)

I’m off to Omaha beach there. Depending on the tide, we’ll see the memorial there. It seems to be going out so fingers crossed.

Update: Like 2 hours later. Not Omaha Beach. First the American D-Day cemetery, which is sickeningly vast. I walked a loop looking at crosses in the ground and paid respects at their missing soldier monument.

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