Sunday 9 August 2015

One photo, 20 words

So, where to next year?!?!

Parlez Vous Francais?

So, after a traumatic last day of school, we all set off on the Friday for our adventurous holiday to France.

We left early doors Friday morning and caught a Brittany ferry from Portsmouth to Caen where we drove over to Houlgate (via the Pegasus bridge) to say on an Eurocamp in a safari tent!  
So glad we didn't have to put this one up, with bunk beds and single bed and double bed in the room next door, we were rather happy with our home for the next few days. 
We had decided to do the sightseeing bit first so Normandy was a good base to teach and show the kids all about WW2.
On the Saturday we ventured to Ste Marie-Eglise and to the church were the 1st Airborne squadron missed their drop point and dropped in to enermy fire.  There is still a manequin with a parachute hanging from the church in rememberance of where one brave paratroper was shot dead...
The First Airborne museum was amazing, so many "real planes" and history, the kids were lapping it up!
Pointe du Hoc was next on the list where the Allies had to climb the cliff faces under heavy fire from the Germans.  The dug outs and pill boxes were still there.

A brief stop at Omaha beach (which is why we were all in Normandy if I'm honest as I've always wanted to go on this beach.  Amazing to think what it's like now to what it was back then.  My Grandad was part of the D Day landings, (although not at Omaha beach as that was allocated to the American's) and I try and think about what happend to all those very bave young men to ensure our freedome now and it's something that I want my children to understand.  

One way of trying to show them just a fraction of how many people died was when we visited the American Cemetary.
This was an emotional place as, as far as the eye could see were just hundreds and hundreds of pristine white marble crosses.  One for each solider the USA lost...

Some have names and dates some are just for the "un named soldier"..  but was good to see, was that there was no rank.  Those crosses that did have names were in no order..

Sunday was not a good day weather wise, but we still ventured out and went to Bayeaux to see the tapestry.
The cathederal was stunning, but as the heavens were really coming down, we didn't go in.  Nor did we make it to the British Cemetary either :(

Monday took us to Arromanches-les Bains where we saw Mulberry Harbour - the big structures that the Allies built and floated across to create a man made harbour.
 Some are still evident and they are just huge..
 My three little soliders..

On Monday we broke camp and travelled 4.5 hours or so down to St Jean de Monts to our second Eurocamp.  This one was a lot bigger than the other one and we stayed in a lovely (albeit small) caravan this time.
This was supposed to be our days of sun and relaxation - playing on the slides and in the pool etc etc, but the weather wasn't that kind to us.. Still, not much can dampen the spirits of kids when it comes to water!
One of the reps told us about a better beach than the one near to the campsite that was about 10 mins away in the car and I have to say, he wasn't wrong..
Personally, I prefer to just "sit"... 
the others however decided that a bit of bodyboarding was in order

 Or digging in the sand..
 Or playing a game of football/volleyball
 And we all joined in with beach cricket!
Sometimes a helping hand from Daddy is all that's needed to build a long trench to a dug out with lookout towers around it.
 The boys were just fine on their own building sandbeds to lounge on!
And after a hard days' fun on the beach, an ice cream it has to be.
Back at the campsite, Cassandra had made friends with the little girls opposite and next door to us and spent time learning to skip.
Girls in their new hats!
  Lee tried to teach Nicholas to play pool
Alexander however, prefered to be IN the pool!

 Showing off their "white bits"!
All too soon it was time to go home and en route back to Cherbourg we stopped at Le Mont St Michael - what a magnificant abbey
 Cassandra and I made it half way up, but all the boys declined the offer of a few hundred steps!
Our return ferry was scheduled to leave at 8.45pm, so being the punctual type we arrived at the port early (we were still the 5th car there though) however due to various issues, the ferry didn't even dock until 9.30pm... We finally arrived home safe and sound about 3am where we all just hit the sack in our very comfortable beds.

Happy holidays!!!