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Silent City Meets Living City

World War 2 trips 2014
Normandy ~ January 27


At the end of the first term of my Nursing course we get a week off, a perfect moment to make a trip. And what better place to go than Normandy?

I decide to go for 4 days and visit my new adoption grave at the Britanny American cemetery in Saint-James. I request for information for a nice B&B on Facebook and my Dutch friend Ralph advises me one in Picauville where he stayed in June with his American friend David.

Monday January 27

Everything is packed at 9h00 and my loyal Kangoo and I leave for France. Luckily there are no traffic jams so we can drive on fluent. However, the rain now comes down so heavily that there are moments I have to stop at a parking lot until it calms down.

Like almost every Normandy trip, I pass the Pont de Normandie, although I have to admit that this time I’m not as confident as I have been before because of the very heavy wind. Luckily I stayed cool and my Kangoo got me over safely.

When I arrive in Normandy, dark clouds are moving in again. Around 16h30 I have my first stop at the Dead Man’s Corner museum where I buy a new cap for my friend Wim. I also buy a Currahee badge to pin on the cap. I buy a 1st division and 35th division patch for myself.

Since it’s not dark yet, I drive on in the direction of Utah Beach. I stop at the Angoville-au-Plain church where I light a candle for the recently deceased veteran medic Robert Wright. I also stop at the souvenir shop in Saint-Marie-du-Mont and at the Dick Winters monument.

When I arrive at Utah Beach I immediately notice the calm, quite the opposite of June, July or August. I dress up warm and take a walk on the beach where I get that happy feeling of freedom.

After this refreshing walk, I head to the B&B in Picauville. The owner gives me a short tour and I get installed in my room, which is very big and cozy. I have dinner with the lovely couple, they prepared a vegetable soup with Normandy cream, quiche with salmon and a dish of cheese and apple pie. We discuss about my life in Belgium and my interest in the World Wars and the events that occurred here in 1944, before I get in bed.