Notes from the Cape Posts

One thing I love about Europe is the weekly markets that every town seems to have. Bayeux is no exception. In this market you could buy your weekly fresh produce, as well as treats and hot meals.

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The nougat stall was fantastic with such a friendly lady selling it. They were of so many interesting flavours, and sheinsisted we taste almost all of them. Of course, some came home with us.

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The “Rotisserie” stall was basically a huge BBQ stall, selling all sorts of hot meat. The park belly was a winner for sure. It was excellent!

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And of course cheese, we didn’t know what any of them are, so we just bough a selection, and they were all good (and surprisingly inexpensive).

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The Catacombs in Paris are one of the most interesting places I have visited. There is a labyrinth of tunnels under Paris, and a portion of them are the final resting places for over 6 million people.

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It’s macabre, yet beautiful in a strange way. Its also a reminder that our time on earth is limited.

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There are tunnels in every direction, and I’m sure you could easily get lost down here.

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Warning, you are entering the realm of the dead

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This is a replica of the gliders that were used in the D-Day landings. The gliders were made of wood, and were only made for a single flight. They were literally towed across the channel and released to crash land in fields. They were used to transport troops, arms and supplies.

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This replica is at the Pegasus Bridge Museum. To my knowledge there are no original gliders left since they were never made to last (there are a few restorations in the US).

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Pegasus Bridge is a is a bascule bridge (which means it lifts up to allow river traffic through. It was one of the key access points that had to be secured in the D-Day landings, and one of the few places that had an almost text-book capture of the bridge. Although it’s also the site of the first allied casualty in the D-Day landings.

In 1994, when the road was widened, they replaced it with a wider version of the original bridge, which was moved to a museum alongside the canal. 

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Looking down towards the bridge towards the mechanism

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The original bridge, in the Pegasus Bridge Museum. The museum has some interesting exhibits, including a full-scale glider replica, as well as parts of an original glider.

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Mulberry Harbour is a most extraordinary piece of engineering. It is literally a floating harbour that was built around the Normandy beach to allow supplies into France during the D-Day landings. They allowed the Allies to land over two million men, half a million vehicles, and four million tons of supplies in the first 100 days following the D-Day landings. To make the breakwater, they deliberately sank over 30 several old war ships as well as other old ships.

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Parts of the harbour are still on the beach and floating in the water, and if you look on Google Maps, you can still see parts of the floating harbour in the sea, still floating.

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Some more photos of the Longues-sur-Mer battery above Omaha and Gold Beaches.

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The casemates and gun emplacements remain largely intact, providing a tangible reminder of the intense fighting that took place on the beaches of Normandy during the Allied invasion.

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The guns could shoot over 20km, providing a real threat to the offshore allied ships.

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Inside one of the gun casemates.

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Like most D-Day sights, its open at no cost to the public.

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Some of the exhibits inside the Memorial Museum. There are many war museums in Normandy, but this one stands out with some excellent exhibits.

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These giant coltrops are still found all over Normandy. They are meant to literally stop tanks in their tracks.

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And some anti-aircraft artillery.

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These are just a few of the tanks at the Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy In Bayeux. I’ll be sharing some photos inside the museum in later posts, but in the meantime here are a few of the tanks on display in the gardens.

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Churchill Crocodile flame throwing tank. It was capable of throwing flames to over 100m distance.

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Churchill Crocodile flame throwing tank – from the side

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M10 tank destroyer, the workhorse tank of the USA army in World War 2.

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The very rare Char Grizzly M4A5 Canadian Tank, basically a Canadian Sherman tank. They stopped producing them when they realised the the USA production would be sufficient for the Normandy landings.

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You can’t really see too much of the Eiffel Tower, and at night its simply spectacular (and uncrowded).

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