sept 22

On Saturday morning we grabbed breakfast early again and then it was back on the bus.  Our first stop was Pointe du Hoc, which is where there are lots of bomb craters and bunkers left from soldiers during D-Day.  Pointe du Hoc is where a highly elite group of ranger soldiers were supposed to scale the cliff and destroy German cannons so they would not be able to shoot ships bringing soldiers in.  The cannons were never actually there, so we didn’t see any.  It was really cool because it felt like not much had actually changed there since D-Day happened.  After that, we went to Omaha Beach.  It is huge and really pretty.  After that we went to the American cemetery.  On the way in, somebody said that it smelled good, and Claire replied “It’s because you left French soil and you’re on American soil now.”  We walked around the cemetery and saw the grave of a Roosevelt, and then it was time to leave, but not until a single boy from our group kept us waiting for 15 minutes because he was late and we could not find him.  We stopped at a small seaside town for lunch, and I got a croque-monsieur, which is a ham sandwich with cheese toasted all over the top.  It was really good.  On the way back to the bus, we stopped at a bakery to get dessert.  There was tons of good looking stuff, but the lady didn’t speak any English so we didn’t know what most of it was.  I got chocolate mousse, and it was so delicious.  After lunch we drove to a place where the Germans DID have the cannons, so we got to see those.  They were huge, and our tour guide (a crabby French lady) told us that they could shoot up to about 12 miles away.  Although the Allies tried to destroy the cannons when they were still held by the Germans, it did not happen.  Interestingly enough, after the British gained control of them, one cannon got blown up because of a spark from British soldiers making tea.  After the cannons, we went to an area that overlooked a town where the Allies set up a temporary harbor after D-Day.  It was high tide and there was not much left of it so we didn’t see a lot, but our guide showed us a picture of what it looked like, which was cool.  All we could see were some concrete blocks out in the sea that were part of the break wall, which our guide said would be as tall as six story buildings if they were on land.  After this we drove to Caen to our last hotel.  We had a little bit of time before dinner, so Christina and I explored the town, which had a pretty cool pedestrian area with shops and restaurants, and we got matching shirts at H&M.  We had dinner that night at the hotel.  The starter was this thing that apparently has no English translation but is pork mixed with something.  It was ok, and some people said it tasted like baloney.  The main course was good though – it was ham and potatoes.  Dessert was this weird thing that was like apple pie but with a jelly outside instead of piecrust, but it was good.  Apparently people were loud later on that night and Claire woke up and yelled at them, so that was interesting.

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