Itinerary: 48 Hours in Normandy, France

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Two questions I get asked the most from friends and readers wanting to travel are “what should I do in London?” and “what should I see in Normandy?”.  These are both two places I have been able to visit more than once and am always happy to share recommendations. Since it is July 4th and I am one of the proudest Americans you could meet I decided to share my itinerary from my trip to Normandy last summer.

The first time I went to Normandy I was in high school and my sister, cousin, and I all had a European adventure. One of my favorite parts of the trip was visiting this very historic town. The emotions were overwhelming and something I couldn’t prepare myself for. I am extremely patriotic, as is my family, so seeing the American Cemetery and the D-Day beaches (something I had studied for years and only every seen on t.v.) was a surreal moment. The second time I went was just as special. My father, the man who taught me this appreciation for history, had a childhood dream to visit Normandy. On a trip abroad last summer we fulfilled this dream. My parents, husband, and in-laws all headed to Normandy to experience what I had a few years before. It was a fantastic trip and one I won’t forget!

My mother-in-law who is the most amazing planner laid out every inch of the trip to perfection! I asked her to share our itinerary so I could pass it along to you all. Shall you ever find yourself in France a trip to Normandy is a must!!

** disclosure – My mother-in-law hired a driver, which if you can, I highly recommend. It made the entire trip easier, faster, and run smoothly! The up-front cost is very worth it!

Day One

14h00 Arrive on the cliffs overlooking Arromanches  ** Must Do and one of my favorite things of the trip – watch the movie (Normandy’s 100 Days”) which is shown on nine different screens – very moving. From there walk down to the D-Day Landing Museum on the beach

16h00 Leave for Bayeux

16h15 Visit the Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum

17h00 Visit the Bayeux Tapestry

18h15 Visit the Bayeux Cathédral

19h00 Depart for Château d’Audrieu

19h30 Arrive at the Château d’Audrieu

Enjoy dinner in the bar of the hôtel. I recommend walking the gardens or riding a bike around the grounds after dinner.

Europe Travels (499 of 647)

Day Two

8h30 Depart for Longues-sur-Mer

9h00 Arrive Longues-sur-Mer, visit the German bunkers

9h30 Depart for Colleville-sur.Mer

Visit the American Cemetery and the WWII Memorial

11h40 Visit Omaha Beach

12h30 Départ for Vierville-sur Mer

12h35 Lunch at the Hôtel du Casino – overlooks the beach between the American Cemetery and the Pointe du Hoc

13h45 Depart for the Pointe du Hoc

13h55 Visit Pointe du Hoc and the Rangers Museum. Watch the 20 minute movie on “The Impossible Mission”

14h45 Depart for Utah Beach

15h30 Visit Utah Beach and the Landing Museum (reserve a tour guide)

16h45 Depart for St. Mère Eglise

17h00 Visit the Airborne Museum and the church in St.-Mere-Eglise

18h00 Depart for Château d’Audrieu

18h45 Arrive at the Château d’Audrieu

19h00 Dinner at the hotel

Paris: Day 1 + 2

paris apartment

Well, I am here! After a week in London and Geneva the hubs and I made our way to Paris. We arrived at my apartment and have been settling in ever since. The apartment itself is great! I found it on Airbnb (click here to get $25 off your first trip) a few months ago and every part of the transaction was smooth. Muriel, the owner, is so kind and has been awesome at communication. It is located in the 6th arrondissement – right next to the Seine! I really couldn’t ask for more!

The hubs, who is a native french speaker, has been helping me a TON! I am so beyond grateful he is here! I am actually so scared that he leaves in a day. He has been able to communicate to every waiter, sales clerk, teacher, taxi driver, and so on. He has made the entire transition really easy and I am terrified to have to figure it out on my own, although I know that is the point of this trip. That is actually something I didn’t expect to experience – this feeling of complete n ervousness. Up until this point I have been excited to be alone and explore a new city but now it is here and I am a bit panicky. I did have a moment earlier today where I looked at him and just teared up. I know it is a mixture of things: one that he is leaving and I am away from him for so long but also a realization that I am in a city that I don’t know and with a language I don’t speak. I could actually cry as I type this. What is my problem?

He keeps telling me that he has to leave for me to learn. He is actually “enabling me instead of helping me”. And I agree. I don’t want to agree, but I do. I am not being forced to speak the language or figure out the lay of the land.  However, that doesn’t mean I am ready for him to go. I think everyone must have this moment when they are about to start a new journey which is out of their comfort zone. A moment of  “oh my gosh, what the f&** did I sign up for?”  I know I need to be patient with myself as I will be fine once I start my school and get a routine going but for now I am a bundle of nerves.

So there it is. I am not as brave or as adventurous as I projected in my previous posts. I am nervous to be alone, scared to not know people, and worried I will be the worst one in my class. Although in my gut I know this is right and I know it will all be okay, for now I can’t quite remember if I was of sound mind when I signed on for this.

As I document this journey I hope I can go back and re-read this post and laugh. That I will actually be able to say to myself, “wow, look how far you came. You now know the city, the language, and you really grew as a soul.” That will be the best feeling in the world! So here it is! The start of my very exciting and scary Paris journey! Stay tuned…

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Notting Hill, London

I have been thoroughly enjoying myself here in London. Yesterday I spent 5 hours walking around with just my camera! It has been so enjoyable getting to stop and take photos, get lost, pop in cafe’s, and wander. The first day I arrived I decided to pop over to Notting Hill for a quick walk. Notting Hill is one of my favorite areas in London. It is quaint, colorful, and really picturesque. Although maybe not as convenient as other places in London it is always worth the trip!

I actually went back to N.H. yesterday as well and have some great photos (like this one) that I will share soon! But for now, here are the ones I took on my first day.

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