On the beaches. D-Day landings.
21st April 2019 Vitre to Arromanches – 176km
Today we are heading for Arromanches which is on the Normandy beaches. It was also the site of the D-Day landings to liberate Europe. It was part of Gold beach one of 2 British landing beaches. To get supplies into France the British built 2 floating harbours known as Mulberry Harbours, the ruins of which are still very evident today and still draw thousands of people and today being easter will probably be no exception.
We leave Vitre at just before 11, it’s a bit of a drive today so we will probably split it half way through. We are going to an aire which is on a cliff edge, not too close though but enoigh to provide us, hopefully with a view. Today we need fuel and we need some food so the first thing is to find the nearest supermarket and being easter Sunday it could be tricky. H finds us one so we get stocked up and fuel up. The chemical toilet has been cleaned, grey water dumped and fresh water loaded so we can be ‘off grid’ for two to three days.
At about 3pm we arrive at the air. It’s very very busy, everywhere. The town of Arromanches is packed with cars and people as we make our way slowly to the spot where we are staying the night. We pull up to a stop and have a great sea view and in the distance we can see the remains of this massive engineering project. It is staggering! We thought we’d give you a link so you can see what went on here, it really is an interesting and crazy story. Have a look at the Mulberry Harbours.
It’s high tide right now so we are seeing the tops of the boxes and other bit of infrastucture but the tide is going out so we should see more later, so for now we lock up and take a walk. We find a 360 degree cinema so for 6 euros we go in and get the full story there in 360 degrees, very very good. A short walk down the hill takes us into Arromanches town and the beach where more of the concrete boxes are washed up. There is a great museum here as well so we take that in as well. If you are ever in the Normandy area of France make sure that you come here. You won’t regret it.
We have had a lovely interesting day here, the weather has stayed bright warm and sunny but it is very busy so we feel we need to get back up the hill to the van and have some dinner. Before that though we sit in the front seats of Jess, the tide has gone out and we can now see the full scale of the Mulbery Harbour (B). Yep we are sad so we look on YouTube and find a fantastic documentary. We set the pad on the dashboard and watch a 1 hour documentary while sipping white wine with a full view of the Mulberry Harbour. A great bit of history right in front of us while we watch what it was all about.
Dinner was pizza and more white wine. Not bad for an Easter Sunday and not a chocolate egg in sight!!