PICKUP IN CENTRAL PARIS
In the morning the driver guide will pick you up at 06:30 am at the following adress : LIDO 116 Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris
(Easy to access by metro Line 1 and just get off at the Metro station « George V » or RER A « Charles de Gaulle Etoile)
You will travel to the Normandy beaches aboard a comfortable and air-conditioned minivan (8 pasengers max).
This journey of one day in Lower Normandy will embarks you in the footsteps of the brave allied soldiers who fought for our liberty so far away from their homelands. Operation Neptune was the codename of the largest military' seaborne and airborne invasion for D-day ever organized.
Logistics, infrastructures, air forces supremacy were the keys success and enabled the allies to win the battle of Normandy. During that day, you will discover not only one of the most important episodes in modern history (so well related in the movies « Saving Private Ryan » and «The Longuest Day») but also beautiful countrysides (known as « le bocage ») in one of the historical' oldest and greatest region of France.
STOP 1 - OMAHA BEACH – LANDING ZONE « DOG GREEN » – VIERVILLE SUR MER (20MN)
Once arrived in Vierville sur Mer, you will plunge directly in history and tragedy of D-day when the driver will ride along the coastal road facing «Omaha beach » which is stretching 6 miles long.
In June 6, 1944 at 06:36 am the first wave of american soldiers who did belong to the US 29th Infantry Division landed there just in front on the german bunkers .
Once they rushed out from the landing crafts, then they had to run in the open through 600 yards and make their way among the beach obstacles before to reached and take cover along the sea wall. Sadly few made it...
To commemorate their bravery and sacrifice,severals war monuments were erected there directly on the sand of the beach after the war.
STOP 2 - OMAHA BEACH – LANDING ZONE « EASY GREEN » – SAINT LAURENT SUR MER (30MN)
At Easy Green sector, two monuments were erected after the war and still stands facing the beach :
Monument « Signal of the Liberation » (photo stop on the spot)
This Monument commemorates the landing of the Allied Forces on June 6, 1944 on Omaha Beach, and the liberation of Europe. Two frescoes can be seen on either side of the monument, one dedicated to the 1st US Infantry Division, the other at the 116th Regimental Combat Team of the 29th US Infantry Division.
Monument « The Braves » (photo stop on the spot)
A monumental work by sculptor Anilore Banon which pay tribute to the courage of Allied Forces soldiers.
There you will have a bit of time to walk along the beach and maybe grabb a bit of sand to fill in a tiny glassed container as a souvenir to bring back home.
WN65 (photo stop on the spot)
Blockhaus WN65 The coded fortified position WN65 (Wiederstand Nest 65) commanded the Ruquet valley leading to the top of the plateau. The casemate type H667 was the central point of the position, it housed a PAK 5 cm anti-tank gun still in the shelter.
Memorial Native American Tribes (photo stop on the spot)
A memorial honouring all the Native Americans who participated in Operation Neptune and landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944. The monument was inaugurated on June 5, 2017, in the presence of Charles Norman Shay, an Indian soldier, who fought as a nurse in the 1st US Infantry Division.
Charles Shay was 19 years old when he reached the beach of Omaha and was awarded the Silver Star for his dedication to serving his wounded comrades. The granite turtle was made by Charles Shay’s nephew. The tortoise is a sacred animal that represents the earth, wisdom and longevity in Native American mythology.
STOP 3 - OVERLORD MUSEUM IN COLLEVILLE SUR MER – OMAHA BEACH (1HOUR)
Located at ashort distance of the famous « Omaha Beach », on the D514 facing the roudabout that provides access to the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-mer. Overlord Museum chronicles the period of the Allied landing until the liberation of Paris. The collection was collected by someone who was both a witness to the conflict and involved in the reconstruction of Normandy. Personal items from individual soldiers and armoured fighting vehicles from the six armies in Normandy will be presented as a series of reconstructions showing over 35 vehicles, tanks and guns.
STOP 4 - LUNCH TIME IN COLLEVILLE SUR MER – OMAHA BEACH (01HOUR)
There, we will take a break for lunch in a local restaurant or you will just decides by yourself of your own choices of meals (own expense).
STOP 5 - MEMORIAL 1ST US INFANTRY DIVISION AND WN62 – LANDING ZONE « FOX GREEN » OMAHA BEACH (30MN)
The monument of the 1st US Infantry Division (Red Sector / Easy) in the form of a commemoration-obelisk.
The obelisk stands in the middle of the area of Wiederstandsnest (WN62). WN62 was one of the strongest defending positions in that area.
WN62 or Widerstandsnest 62 (Resistance Nest 62) overlooks Easy Red and Fox Green Sectors of OMAHA Beach at Colleville sur Mer. WN62 was the most powerful resistance nest on the OMAHA beach coastline.
STOP 6 - AMERICAN MILITARY CEMETERY IN COLLEVILLE SUR MER – OMAHA BEACH (02HOURS)
The guide is now taking you to visit the beatiful maintained American Cemetery in Colleville sur Mer which overlooks Omaha Beach nearby. The 180 acre site contains 9,387 perfectly aligned white crosses and a memorial chapel which adds the finishing touches to this moving scene, allowing visitors to reflect on the price of war.
While walking along row upon row of white grave headstones, your historian guide will share with you stories of soldiers who fought in the vicinities and then were awarded for gallantry the highest miltary decorations.
On the Walls of the Missing, in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial, are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified.
The memorial consists of a semicircular colonnade with a loggia at each end containing large maps and narratives of the military operations; at the center is the bronze statue, “Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves.” An orientation table overlooking the beach depicts the landings in Normandy. Facing west at the memorial, one sees in the foreground the reflecting pool; beyond is the burial area with a circular chapel and, at the far end, granite statues representing the United States and France.
In 2007, the Normandy Visitors Center opened. The $30 million visitor center was dedicated by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) on June 6, 2007 during the commemoration of the 63rd Anniversary of D-Day.
RETURN AND DROP OFF IN CENTRAL PARIS
During the return drive to Paris you will have time to relax aboard the minivan before to be dropped off in Central Paris (Drop off at the "Place de la Concorde 75001 Paris" just in Front of the main entrance gate of the « Tuileries Gardens " in the evening between 08:00 pm till 09:00 pm).
Easy there to catch a taxi cab either to find metro stations (Ligne 1 Métro : Concorde or Tuileries).