Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cycle Touring Day 40

After spending a totally unexpected extra day in Bayeux yesterday, today I cycled from Bayeux to the last of the Normandy D-Day beaches, Utah Beach. When I left camp it was bucketing down and it continued to do so for a couple of hours at least. Eventually though it brightened up and the afternoon was spent cycling in mainly dry and bright conditions with a nice tail wind for much of the way.

En route I stopped at the American Cemetery and Memorial at Colleville-sur-Mer. I was amazed at just how many graves there are. I know undress of thousands died in the war but it is very difficult to visualise such numbers in your head, when you see them all, quite literally, laid out in front of you though, it really becomes apparent.

After setting up camp in the evening, whilst I was visiting the memorials along the beach, two american guys stopped me and proceeded to tell me how the older chap had landed on Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion and had eventually been captured and became a prisoner of war! This was his first visit back to Utah Beach since then. The younger guy, a neighbour, is writing a book about the older guy's life so is travelling with him to all the places he was during the war to help with the story and the research. Amazing!

Memorial sculpture on the beach near the American cemetery along the appropriately named, Avenue de la Liberation.

Spesh on Utah Beach.

1 comment: