Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Day the Fourteenth

Everything's coming up Milhouse.

Steph and I started by watching our bus fly past us this morning on our walk to try to find the bus stop. We had to get from Caen to Courseulles-sur-Mer where the Juno Beach centre is. We eventually caught our bus at the train station and made it out to the beach. When we left this morning it was cloudy and cool, in the hour it took to drive to the coast it had become sunny and was around 30 degrees all day. That went over well with our Canadian complexions. 
We spent about an hour and a half in the Juno Beach Centre. There is a really great museum that takes you through pre-war politics, Canada in the 30s, the appeasement policy, declaration of war, the different theatres, and finally right up to the D-day landings. The whole thing started with a video where you're made to feel as though you are in a landing craft and then finishes with a very moving tribute to the Canadians who fought in Normandy. I loved it.
It was also the first time in two weeks that I was surrounded by Canadians. Very apologetic and friendly.
After the museum, we had about an hour before our tour of the beach so we went to a bakery for lunch and bought macarons that were literally the size of my fist for dessert. 
The tour was awesome. We got to go into the old German tunnels and surveillance fortifications. The beach has changed quite a bit since the raid but you can find bits of bunker all over the place if you're looking for it. 
The beach is now used as a beach. Shocker. But actually quite alarming as a Canadian walking through it. There are monuments and flags everywhere, I'm sure the maple leaf is flying more throughout Normandy than it is in Calgary, and in the midst are thousands of tanned French people catching some rays and playing in the water. It seemed surreal that the same beaches stormed on D-day are used for relaxing now. We spent about an hour laying in the sun, when in Rome....
On the way back we watched our bus drive past us while we waited at the wrong stop on the other side of the road. We have 4 university degrees between us but can't figure out a regional bus route in France. Not to worry though, we spent the next hour drinking cider on a patio overlooking the beach. 
Then a miracle happened! I realized about 2 minutes before the bus came that somewhere between the patio and the bus stop my ticket had fallen out of my pocket. I told Steph to wait and I would just go see if it was nearby. I got down to the path we had taken from the beach and my bus ticket blew across the sidewalk I front of me! I told you, everything's coming up Milhouse.
We went back to our favourite creperie for dinner after a solid hour nap on the bus and missing our stop in Caen.
Today was our last day in France, we have a travel day to Brussels tomorrow to start the Belgium leg of the tour!

Things I ate:
     - a croissant with Nutella, almost pain au chocolat
     - lobster meat sandwich and a strawberry macaron as big as my fist
     - salted caramel and dark chocolate ice cream
     - Camembert and bacon crepe and a shared apricot chocolate grand mariner flambĂ© crepe for dessert
     - cider. obviously

Highlight of the day: 
     - stoked on being Canadian, we're a seriously rad country and did good things over here