France 2011

France 2011

Our dear friends from Holland, Thea and Ferdinand van der Gun, met us at the Charles de Gaulle Airport on Sunday May 15.  We stayed in a lovely two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in downtown old Paris (Arrondissement #2) central to everything !!  What a great city !!  The photos really tell it all.

A week there and then on to the Beaches of Normandy. Three very emotional days. My father went through Normandy 30 days after D-Day on his way to Berlin where he was part of the "allied occupation forces" during World War II.  Still very visible are the bomb craters, German bunkers, caissons for unloading war material and of course, the cemeteries.  We visited the largest American cemetery at Omaha Beach near Saint-Laurent-Sur-Mer with 9,387 graves of our military dead; we also visited the largest German cemetery near La Cambe with 21,400 graves.  I have goose bumps as I write this.
We spent a day at Mont Saint-Michel, an 8th century monastery on a tidal island and then on to the lovely resort town of Honfleur in upper Normandy, used by many impressionist artists including Courbet, Monet and Boudin.  From there we went to our friends' home in Holland - see the Holland tab for a short narrative and photos.

I love flower boxes
The famous Moulin Rouge Cabaret (1889)
Cathedral of Norte Dame - rear view with Flying Buttresses
Gargoyle on the Cathedral of Notre Dame
Arc de Triomphe (1808)

Eiffel Tower at night (1889)

  Sacré Cœur on the highest point of Paris
Town of Honfluer on the Seine River at the Atlantic Ocean
Winged Victory (Second Century BC) at the Louvre Museum   American Cemetery near Omaha Beach
Utah Beach, Normandy
German Cemetery in France
Effigy of Private John Steele caught on the church steeple in Ste-Mère-Église, D-Day 1944

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