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Advance Warning - Summer 2018 I&i Northern France


Allan W
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I will go along with the majority. but, I will NOT be entering any submarine(s). I'm going for the company, not to indulge my claustrophobia. Of course, if there is a nice bistrot nearby, you can collect me afterwards.

 

If you don't mind my mindless chattering for 6 hours, then I'm fine with a six-hour drive, provided there is a nice lunch break somewhere within that time...

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Train to Saumur is also 3 hrs, but the problem is getting from the station to the museum and back.

 

Very true. I used a taxi for my two days there in 2015. The station is on the opposite bank of the Loire from the city and the considerable walk onward to the museum kills an hour or more [did that my first time there]. If you go, don't pass up the Cavalry Museum, located closer and near the cavalry/armor school. In all, Saumur is best reached from Paris, not on the roads from Normandy.

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I've talked this over with Dave, and we intend to attend. Banshee Four is also interested though in his case it may depend on his girlfriend, who as a teacher would be prevented from coming along since summer break in Lower Saxony starts only a week after the end of the I&I, on the 28th. For both Banshees an additional constraint is that on the 24th we have a baptism in the family (and another one the weekend after that), though that's no dealbreaker for me; at most I might leave a day early. Ironically a possible complication time-wise is that I'm currently unemployed - I might get an immediate job offer I can't refuse within the next two months, and would be unlikely to get time off that quickly afterwards. Well, that would be tough luck.

 

Dave and I have of course been to Normandy, the Pas-de-Calais and Vimy Ridge before, but neither of us has been to Paris. So for that part our priority is the city itself rather than day trips into Northern France, though we would of course be along for Saumur. In fact as I've told Harold, I'm gonna hit up a former French intern at my former office who is originally from Saumur (dad was a cavalryman) and currently studying in Paris if she has any advice or might even show us around some parts if possible. Since Vimy is right on the way to Ypres, we thought it might be a stop on the transfer there.

 

As for Normandy, we'll definitely do Cherbourg since we failed to get there on our 2010 trip. We think however that this will be a day trip by itself (Dave also points out a historic airship base nearby), so others might spend it elsewhere, appropriate transport solutions provided. Dave will be forthcoming with a list of Normandy sites which might interest the group as a whole, even if we have seen them before ourselves. Some new ones have emerged since of course, there are some we missed earlier, and also some like Arromanches we would like to re-visit. In general we think that of the other two Normandy days, we might spend one one sites close to Caen, and one in the Omaha/Utah Beach area.

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I forgot to mention that I found the visit to the Vimy memorial very moving. Not so the reconstructed trenches and strongpoints, which had no flavor of the timeframe, with a commercial center for 'interpretation.'

Edited by Ken Estes
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Okay here's my list of things to see in Normandy. I've actually divided it into two; what, in my opinion, are "must-sees", and then "nice -to-sees". As far as possible I've gone from West to East along the coast.

Utah Beach with the Utah Beach Landing Museum, Sainte-Marie-du-Mont
Airborne Museum, Sainte-Mère-Eglise
German Cemetery, La Combe. Included for the Fanbois - Wittmann is buried here
Pointe du Hoc artillery position
Omaha Beach and the Omaha Beach Memorial Museum, Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer
US Cemetery, Colleville-sur-Mer
Overlord Museum, Colleville-sur-Mer (this is a new museum)
Memorial Museum of the Battle of Normandy, Bayeux
British Cemetery, Bayeux (the largest of the 17 British cemeteries in Normandy)
D-Day Museum, Arromanches les Bains (with a large section on the Mulberry Harbour - bits of which can still be seen on the beach outside)
Caen Memorial, Caen
Juno Beach Museum, Courseulles-sur-Mer (this is the Canadian museum)
Canadian Cemetery, Cintheaux (includes a memorial to Gérard Doré, a 16 year old Canadian soldier killed on 23 July 1944)
Pegasus Memorial, Ranville
Atlantic Wall Museum, Ouistreham

Liberation Museum, Cherbourg
Le Redoutable SSBN, Cherbourg
WW1 airship hanger, Montebourg-Ecausseville
Battery Museum, Longues-sur-Mer
No 4 Commando Museum, Ouistreham (including the French commandos who landed here)
Merville Battery Museum, Merville-Franceville
Radar Museum, Douvres-la-Deliverande
Bocage Breakthrouzgh Museum, Saint-Martin des Besaces (mainly covers the British and OP BLUECOAT)
Polish Cemetery, Grainville-Langannerie

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  • 3 weeks later...

What's the final march route? For Caen, I can commend the Ibis chain, one near the city the other near Bayeux.

 

IBIS CAEN HEROUVILLE SAVARY
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The ibis Caen Hérouville Savary hotel is ideally located and is accessible from the ring road via the Porte d'Angleterre exit. It is also en route to the ferry port and Sword Beach. As it is close to the center of Caen, it is perfect for visiting the ducal city with its memorials and other sites. This 3-star hotel has 91 comfortable and peaceful rooms, a free enclosed car park, bar, restaurant, 2 modular meeting rooms and free WIFI to ensure you have a great stay whether for leisure or business travel.
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The ibis budget Bayeux hotel welcomes you 24 hours a day and offers rooms with unlimited WIFI. The hotel is ideal for business and leisure stays thanks to its unlimited buffet breakfast, free, secure, private car park and on-site Courtepaille restaurant for your dining needs. Ideally located in the heart of the Bessin area and a few minutes from the D-Day landing beaches, the history of Normandy is at your fingertips. Make the most of your stay in Bayeux and see the city and its sights.

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Amelie MAUDUIT, Hotel Manager
Edited by Ken Estes
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Here is the latest high level over view of the itinerary

 

June 13-17 Paris
June 16 Day trip to Saumur
June 17-19 ww1 Battlefields stay in Ypres depart for Caen on the 19th
June 19-23 Normandy stay in Caen
June 22 Day trip to Cherburg for those interested.
June 23 Back to Paris
As far as hotels go, I am nominating Allen to pick the Ypres hotel.
For Caen IBIS CAEN HEROUVILLE SAVARY looks good to me.
For Paris I think this might work, http://www.campanile-paris-est-pantin.fr/en it has a parking garage, is near the metro and at least as of this morning it had 10 rooms available. It also has a well reviewed breakfast and is near several restaurants, a bakery and wine store. As far as the 23rd goes I have a room booked at the Charles de Gaulle Citizen M.
Edited by Harold Jones
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Flights booked. hotels in Paris, Caen, and Paris airport booked too.

 

hotels.com is quite useful when booking hotels outside your loyalty program, as one gets 1 night free after booking ten nights with them.

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Paris, Caen and Ypres are booked. When will we back in Paris on the 23rd? With all the things to see in Normandy and the drive I guess in the late-ish evening. That would be another night in Paris for me.

 

I am flying out in the morning of 24th. Booked a hotel in CDG airport for the night 23-24. Harold too.

 

However, there is the matter of the drivers wanting to go back home in the 23rd. DB will be near the chunnel, and the Berlin section, if going to Normandy at all, may want to go to Germany without stopping in Paris. Harold and I were discussing the possibility of going back to Paris by train if no cars are available.

 

Of course, we still need to discuss the logistics for the movements to Saumur, Ypres, and Caen, and it could be possible we will need to rent some transport/book rail tickets.

 

I think it could be a good idea to arrange a whatsapp group for communication during the I&I. This time I will have data roaming enabled.

Edited by sunday
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Paris, Caen and Ypres are booked. When will we back in Paris on the 23rd? With all the things to see in Normandy and the drive I guess in the late-ish evening. That would be another night in Paris for me.

 

I think it could be a good idea to arrange a whatsapp group for communication during the I&I. This time I will have data roaming enabled.

 

 

 

Done. You are hereby appointed Deptuy Chief of Whatsapp Communications. ;)

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I've booked hotels in Paris, Vimy and Caen. We need to figure out an ETA for being back in Paris on the 23rd as I have to head over to London that evening. I was planning on crossing the Eurostar off of my bucket list.

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E-mail sent to Ken, Allan, DB, and Harold with the link to join the whatsapp group.

 

Edited to add:

 

Leo too. In case he has a smartphone now :D
T19 and bojan, also.

Edited by sunday
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Just to note, I will be 12th-26th June in Paris, so I will be available there, but nothing outside. :( I still have to see with a GF for a her plan (I have to be a tourist guide :D ), but that will not be known until the mid-May.

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