Normandy Blog Day 2
Day 2 began being greeted by the resident dogs and chickens in the hotel gardens. It's safe to say Misty and Cocoa (the family dogs we seem to have adopted) have had enough fuss to last them till next year's visit!
Students were excellent this morning, considering the long journey they had yesterday; they were up early and had breakfast promptly ready for their day of WW2 history. We left the hotel at 8.45am and headed towards our first destination, the 360 degree cinema. This was, without doubt, a fantastic and moving experience for everyone with quite a few souvenirs purchased to remember their visit.
With the enthusiasm and excitement brought on by the cinema experience, we headed down to the invasion museum in Aramanches to learn more about the Allied advance. Here students enjoyed a guided tour talking them through the construction of the Mulberry Harbours along with more documentary footage and artefacts of the invasion itself. After this, students had the opportunity to get their snaps of the beach where huge parts of the harbour and guns are still in place today.
Following this, we travelled along the coast up to Omaha beach, one of the main invasion beaches for the American forces. After a bit of a blustery lunch break admiring the sea views, we set off once again, this time for Pointe du Hoc. Here we explored the many bunkers and craters left exactly as it was on D-Day in 1944. Unfortunately, we were unable to avoid the rain and got a bit wet on our way back to the coach!
On the next leg of our journey, to the American cemetery, the heavens really did open... Our spirits weren't dampened, however, and we embraced the rain. The students had time to reflect as they took in the sheer scale of the thousands of war graves. A solemn, but interesting afternoon for us all.
Although we were soaked through to the skin, we were determined to not let this cut our day short and continued on to the German gun Battery. Mrs Ashdown gallantly volunteered to stay ON BOARD the coach with those who didn't want to get caught up in any more rain. There were some troopers who wanted to go and see the artillery guns that have been left in place so we looked at these and went below ground in some of the pill boxes. By this point we were well and truly drowned rats. Time to get back to the hotel for a hot shower and dinner after an excellent day looking at the WW2 invasion of Normandy. It has to be said that the students were an excellent representation of the school and showed the utmost respect during the day.
Thankfully after a complete down pour the rain eased off and we were able to spend a couple of hours in the park playing football, tennis and having a good laugh. Back to the hotel and bed ready for day three tomorrow!