Sunday, March 4, 2018

Normandy Beaches and Paris (Parents visit)

My parents always told us: no matter where you go in the world, we will find you, and we will visit you! :) My mom was not particularly excited to have Germany as a destination, but she was happy to come spend time with her daughter and son-in-law. My dad, however, has long had an interest in the World Wars, so Germany was a great fit for him. We spent time in Munich and went to Dachau Concentration Camp.

We visited Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau.

We took a boat over Konigsee to a cute little church, and toured a salt mine in Salzburg.

We ate our way through Oktoberfest. 

But the highlight of their visit was a trip to France to see Mont St Michel, the Normandy Beaches, and do a quick tour of Paris. Our first stop after an easy 2 hour flight was driving to the coast to see Mont St Michel. This was a last minute addition to our itinerary, but I'm so glad my dad brought it up! It was incredible to see the fortress, built right into the ocean! During high tide, the island is completely cut off from the mainland by water. They recently built a bridge connecting the two, but until that point, if your visit was ill-timed, you were stuck on the island until the tide receded.  :) We arrived close to closing time, so Tyler, my dad, and I hustled up the narrow, winding streets to get one of the last tours through the cathedral. I'm glad we made it in time, because the interior was fun to check out.

Our next stop was visiting several of the beaches. It was a really sobering experience to be on the same stretch of sand where so many people died fighting for freedom. The beaches themselves were fairly devoid of any remnants of the war, but that almost made it easier to imagine what took place. There were still a few bunkers and huge divots in the ground from bombs, but almost everything else has been cleaned up.

We headed into Paris, and dropped off our rental car. Public transportation in Europe is pretty widespread and reliable. If you're heading out to rural areas, you'll likely need car, but in cities, skip the car and take public transport! Easier and no parking headaches! We toured the Palace of Versailles, saw the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night from our river cruise, found our way to the Arc de Triomphe, went up the Eiffel Tower, walked through Notre Dame, climbed to the Sacre Coeur, and spent a few hours finding key pieces of art in the Louvre. The food was also delightful, but I don't have any pictures of that! We all are adventurous eaters, so our meals usually entailed trying new things. Escargot, foie gras, French onion soup, frog's legs, varied cheeses, pastries, and of course, macarons were all sampled and enjoyed.

We were all exhausted by the end of our trip, but we made so many memories and had a great time exploring a new part of the world!


Dad and Mom said...

It WAS an amazing trip! So glad we got to experience it with you!