Monday, 24 May 2010

Nous sommes revenus de nos vacances en France!!

Title edited. Thanks to Sylvie :-)

For anyone who’s French that probably means "i have hairy legs" or something but to me it means “We are back from our holiday in France”.
(Well actually, i know it means that as i cheated and translated it in Google translator)

We’ve debated about going to France for a while but i don’t do ferries. I won’t go into detail as the reason i don’t do ferries as it might put you all off your dinner, but i don’t do them. The thought of it even makes me queasy!
Thanks to some friends who we went with who don’t do ferries either, we got to go on the Euro tunnel – yay!! I didn’t think that driving your car onto a train could be THAT cool but maybe we’re very easily pleased.

It’s really cool cos:

When you drive the ticket booth it already knows who you are by your car registration number. The screens said ‘Hello M. Greenberg’ (I’m not ‘M’ Greenberg but i assume the M was Monsieur as curly boy had done the booking)

You actually drive onto the train. It’s just like driving into a multi story car park!!

You sit in your car for the whole journey which means i didn’t have to pack up the big pile of papers and bits of fabric off my lap.

It only takes 35 minutes and then you’re are back out the other end!

We stayed at a gorgeous guest house the first night about an hour away from Calais

Stayed at the most wonderful cottage for 3 nights

Drove over this fab bridge

Ate fab French food, although there are no pics. I was too busy stuffing my face to pause to take a pic!

Went to Utah Beach where Curly Boys Granddad landed on D-Day and we also collected some sandy from Utah beach to send home to his rellies in the US.

.....and went to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial at Coleville Sur Mere.

Wow. I can honestly say that i don’t think i have ever felt the way i felt when i turned the corner and all those crosses (and the occasional Star of David dotted amongst them) were in front of us, laid out in perfectly aligned rows. I felt like i had been punched in the chest and for what seemed like an eternity i couldn’t get my breath.

When you hear stories of D-Day it is more often that told from the perspective of military strategy and for those of us that didn’t lose loved ones on that day it is easy to forget about the individuals. The sons, fathers, brothers etc. Each one of those men laid in the cemetery meant something to someone and their lives would be forever changed by the loss.

People talk and poets write about the futility of the war. I don’t think that there was anything futile about what all those men did on D-Day. They were fighting to protect the freedom of the British people and to liberate those who were already under occupation. I don’t pretend to know all the ins and out of WWII but i think that as a result of the D-Day landings they ultimately secured that freedom. That doesn’t sound futile to me.

WWII finished when my parents were still babies and 27 years before i was born but i think it is still very much ingrained in the psyche of Brits. Like the ‘Dunkirk Spirit’ .....and bizarrely a tendency to hoard tinned food! When a friends granddad died in the early 90’s his cellar was absolutely full of tinned food. Much of which had gone out of date in the mid 60's!!

There are so many things to see and do in Normandy that unfortunately we ran out of time before we’d even scratch the surface. We’ll definitely be going back soon though.

I’ll be back here soon too, although i use the word ‘soon' in the loosest of senses! I want to tell what else we got up to on holiday, show you the loot i got and the wonderful contents of a package i received ½ hour before leaving for the holiday!!