Travel to France

By: ilviaggiopsd

Jun 08 2011

Category: Uncategorized

3 Comments

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You never know what you were thinking when you buy plane tickets.  The morning before we flew to France we had to be ready for the taxi at 5:30 AM!  Dad was fine but I tell you, I was pretty tired.

The excitement, and a bit of fear, of having to drive in Paris towards Carantan, France kept me pretty much awake.  My experience of driving in Europe has not been all positive.  The 15 minutes that I spent driving in Naples, Italy I ripped off some stranger’s side-view mirror and was told to keep going by the Italian nationals I was with.  Who knew what Paris would be like.

After completing customs easily we found our rental car company, got our BMW (don’t get excited, it was the weirdest, 4 door, hatch back BMW I’ve ever seen) with 6 speeds and reverse on the top left that was very difficult for me to put the gear shift into and hit the open road with only a Navigation System in the car that I had just learned to use.  I put in our destination of Carentan, Normandy and off we went.  In the first hour of driving I sat in Paris traffic and paid about $20 of tolls!  Needless to say, we looked at the GPS again and told it to give us a path to avoid toll roads and hi/free ways.  All of a sudden, the driving became more like driving through the small towns of middle America.  Thankfully, nothing like Italy!

We arrived at our hotel, found a place to park and walked up 3 flights of a spiral staircase to our room.  The Hotel Le Vabaugn was right on the main square and the post office, a grocery store and the fabulous French bakeries were within a short walking distance.  Walking around the village we came upon the above statue.  If you have ever watched “Band of Brothers”, in the episode entitled “Carentan”, the soldiers rest along its base after the men of Easy Company had attacked from the southwest, driving out German troops. With two platoons on either side of the road hiding from German MG fire, Dick Winters ran, exposed, up and down the men urging them forward with no regard for his own safety.

Click here to see the photo taken the day Easy Company was there.

Tomorrow we visit the beaches where the worst battles took place on D-Day as well as the American Cemetery and Le Pointe du Hoc.