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Juno Beach

A chance for Roger to visit Juno Beach where his dad landed on DDay.

semi-overcast 19 °C

  • I expect it will be an emotional day.

It was a great day. We picked up bus tickets for the coast and spent the morning in Bayeux. First a bag of fruit from the farmer's market and a visit to a garden fast food place where we had a drink before visiting the Bayeux Tapestry. This is the history of William the Conqueror; formerly know as William the Bastard. Quite an amazing piece of work. We were given headsets with the narration in English. We started the narration and were able to pause it as needed so we would not get ahead of the story. Some people had theirs very loud and did not seam to get you can stop and start. There is also a Japanese painted scroll that depicts Japan's history. We lunched on fruit in a park and then visited the British Graveyard. So many young men and so many buried here without names. It is cool all the plants and flowers that are planted and tended around the stones.
We caught our bus, which was only 14 euros return, and we were at Juno beach in about 50 minutes. It is a windy wonderful drive through pastures and little villages. We paid for a tour that would go shortly so we found Bill's brick in the memorial as well as Tracy accidentally finding some of my relatives from NB while we waited. Marisse from Montreal was our guide and we were introduced to the history of the Canadians in Normandy. All but one on our tour was from Canada and most were from BC. One lady at emerg in Bby just after my mom left, but she knows the Doctor we had there. We explored a remaining bunker, learned of the German Fortifications and occupation for the days leading up to and following dday. The beach has changed a lot since then and great big sand dunes now cover the area. One of the bunkers has sunk into the sand and has a building built on top.
We returned to the Juno Beach Centre to view the exhibits. Roger was looking for more information when I looked over his shoulder and saw his dad's picture. I was stunned to see the photo of Granddad sitting on his tank on the cover of the 2009 anniversary book. Roger later spoke to Nathalie, the director of the centre, who had chosen the photo. She took Roger's photo with him holding the book. As well she brought up a photocopy of a temporary exhibit they had with Roger's dad's photo as a major part of the display. We of course bought a copy of the anniversary book.
We finished our visit and after picking up a baguette and cheese and frits we walked the coast line to Berniers Sur Mer about 30 minutes away to where Bill actually landed to see the memorial and walk on the beach. This was most amazing to think what life was like for people during the occupation.
We then learned we would have to walk back to catch the bus by the Juno Beach Centre, as it does not go this far at this time of day. No problem. We walked back, had a jug of Sangria and caught our bus back to Bayeux. This time the trip only took 30 minutes. Slightly tired we giggled our way back to the hotel where we did some wash and got ready for the next day.
More time should be spent exploring and either a rental car or a guide would be a good choice. For us the bus was fine because we saw all that we wanted right there.

Posted by Mari Anne 12:56 Archived in France Tagged beach canadian wwii bayeux juno

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