|Imagine the US Rangers who scaled the cliffs as the Germans shot at them|
|A lively recounting of history in the Bayeux tapestry|
|Delicious-looking produce at the farmers' market|
Halley's comet is also embroidered into the tapestry, like a giant star with a large tail trailing behind it, and is seen as an ominous sign that Harold will fall in defeat.
|Some of the over 9,000 grave stones in the cemetery|
However, he also compiled the Doomsday Book, where he had an inventory of all the lands the crown owned in England as a means for taxation. A copy of the book was presented to Bayeux when Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited in 1987.
|A reflective memorial for the dead|
But then in 1794 the tapestry was almost cut into pieces and was instead protected. In the 19th century, several pieces and threads disappeared; one fragment was returned from England and no one knows how it ended up there.
At lunchtime we visited Sainte Mere Eglise, where there is a church where an American paratrooper parachuted and landed on the church steeple, but was caught by the Germans.
In front of the church is a small square and we were lucky to be there when a farmers' market was set up. Stands sold cooked food, or fresh vegetables and fruits, cheese, calvados and cider, and even seafood.
At Pointe du Hoc, we saw the cliffs where American soldiers had the task of scaling the cliffs in the hopes of confiscating artillery the Germans had there. We saw footage of them climbing up mobile ladders, and once one soldier was shot by the Germans, another US soldier climbed up.
There were 225 of them, only 90 made it up to the top. And when they did, they found out the Germans had already moved everything out of the area -- that their mission was for nothing.
We saw the bunkers the Germans had, and some of the ones dug out of the ground have grass grown over and now they are managed by a herd of lambs who live out there as natural grass cutters.
Then we went to Omaha, where over 9,000 American soldiers are buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.
|A statue of the Canadian soldiers at Juno Beach|
Most poignant was the film tracing the lives of five soldiers who died from the invasion, how they were brimming with enthusiasm, and some felt it was their duty to serve their country. Others didn't seem to give the impression they knew they would be close to death -- or they at least didn't want their family to know that.
|Looking out at Juno Beach where the soldiers landed|
There is a small museum called Juno Beach Centre, and we arrived just as the place closed for the day. It obviously paled in comparison to the American memorial; at the Canadian one there were several strange-looking kiosks where blue plaques had the names and positions of people who died. Some of the others were sponsored by Canadian cities and provinces, as many were given by donation.
Nevertheless, the memorial was low-key -- isn't that Canadian? And we went down to the beach for a few pictures and I picked up a few shells as souvenirs.
|A quiet memorial in front of the beach|