Bastogne, Belgium

This will be a short, and late, blog post. I forgot it was Wednesday.

For those in the HBO Band of Brothers fandom, you probably already know about the event happening in Bastogne, Belgium in December. Tickets are almost sold out!

Image from WWII Foundation.
Image from WWII Foundation.

This event commemorates the Battle of the Bulge, and a bunch of the actors will be there providing insights on the filming of the scene and what the real people behind their characters told them about the battle. All proceeds will go to the WWII Foundation.

To read more about the event, past events, and to see which actors will be there, here is the link.

I have already booked one family’s travel to this event. If you’d like me to book any part of your trip, even if it’s only airfare or train fare, I can do that, no matter where in the world you are from. Please contact me Jennifer Desmarais through AJ Travel. jenniferd@ajtravel.ca

Normandy

Normandy is an approximate 2h30 drive from Paris. It is located in North Western France. There are lots of little towns, grassy fields, hedgerows, beaches, and cliffs. It is also the perfect location to visit if you are a fan of the Band of Brothers miniseries on HBO.

A description of Normandy during D-Day Celebrations on June 2015 by a Canadian tourist:

Every town is decorated in flags from England, France, the States, Germany, Poland, Canada, etc. The store windows are all painted with murals of paratroopers and flags and soldiers. And everyone is dressed up in either 1940s clothing or re-enactment military outfits. As you drive on the highway, you can be passed by WWII jeeps. They have organized dances with swing music, and fireworks displays. They have military camps set up with authentic gear, and parade displays of military vehicles. They have parachutes jumps in full WWII outfits, including the parachute, and from the original C47 planes! Everyone partakes in the celebrations – tourists and locals alike. Although tourists aren’t allowed to jump out of the planes…

Paratroopers jumping out of a C47
Paratroopers jumping out of a C47

Utah Beach has the Utah Museum. There is public access to the beach, and they have several monuments and statues. The beach had extremely fine sand, and it was surprising how vast and shallow the beach was at low tide, which shows how far they had to travel under fire (500m from the U-boats to the shore!) before reaching the banks. It carried an atmosphere of serenity. The museum overlooks the beach, and focuses on American military vehicles, uniforms, and more of the logistics of D-Day. On the way to the beach, they have a specific monument to Denmark, and the Danish soldiers, and they have the Dick Winters leadership memorial (Major of the 506th Second Battalion of the 101st Airborne).

Utah Beach
Utah Beach

Juno Beach is the Canadian beach. The museum is called Juno Beach Centre. This beach was different in that it was still being used as a beach. Full of sunbathers, and the waters were peppered with sailboats. People are living and using that beach, which is rather symbolic of Canada’s involvement. “We went over there to liberate France in order for people to be free and live, and that is how they are using that beach.” The beach sand had lots of rocks, and the water was almost green. Beach was much less wide, less distance to travel under fire. The area near the memorials was solemn, but the beaches themselves were full of joy. The Centre itself focuses on the people, the stories of the soldiers and of the home front in Canada. All of the employees from the Centre are Canadian.

Juno Beach and sailboats
Juno Beach and sailboats

Carentan is a small town (all roads lead to Carentan) that was a strategic location in the war, because of the roads, and was liberated by the 101st Airborne, a fact that is still celebrated today. Notre-Dame de Carentan Church started being built in the 11th Century, the stained glass windows that got blown out during the war were replaced with some of the original designs, but some had added homages to the soldiers that liberated them, with depictions of paratroopers and saints holding the Screaming Eagle crest (the 101st Airborne’s crest). They also have a war memorial from the First World War, which is now dedicated to both wars.

Stained glass window in Notre-dame de Carentan
Stained glass window in Notre-dame de Carentan

Near Carentan is the Dead Man’s Corner Museum, which has the D-Day Experience, where you can board a C47 fuselage that is operated by hydraulics and has virtual screens in the windows to make it seem like you’re flying, then get hit, and then crash.

Interior of fuselage of C47 at Dead Man's Corner Museum
Interior of fuselage of C47 at Dead Man’s Corner Museum

Bayeux is a really cute little town, with cobblestone streets and watermills in the creek. The Bayeux Cathedral hosts the famous Bayeux Tapestry that was created in the 11th Century. There are lots of really nice cafés.

The streets of Bayeux
The streets of Bayeux

NOTE: Sundays are VERY limited in the Normandy region: all food serving places are closed, but you should be able to find a grocery or bakery that is open.

If you are interested in visiting Normandy. You can contact Jennifer Desmarais through Orleans Travel. jennifer.desmarais@orleanstravel.ca


References

Recollections of, and pictures by, Lindsay

https://www.google.ca/maps/dir/Paris,+France/Normandy/data=!4m8!4m7!1m2!1m1!1s0x47e66e1f06e2b70f:0x40b82c3688c9460!1m2!1m1!1s0x47e1bd6c23f8c087:0x26f2f1561148e202!3e0?sa=X&ved=0CDYQ-A8wAGoVChMI6s__jfqfyAIVhgWSCh2Migz0

http://www.dday-overlord.com/eng/utah_beach.htm

http://www.spottinghistory.com/view/2858/carentan-church/

http://www.european-traveler.com/france/visit-bayeux-cathedral-normandy/

Band of Brothers Miniseries

 

Brief Interlude 1

Hi,

I know you’re anxious to get back to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral, but I wanted to let everyone know about a new Online Store and what coffee will be available for CON Craft Fair and Cap-Con.

Gilove2dance Designs

logoTitle6

JenEric Designs has been sharing a table with Gilove2dance Designs for just over a year now and it has been great.

They just opened an online store so go check out their awesome store filled with Band of Brothers Merchandise.

Coffee

I ran a poll to see what 3 classic flavours I would be making for events in September.

*Drumroll*

With 13 votes:

Spiked Coffee

A Blond (Light) Roast with Butter Rum Flavouring
A Blond (Light) Roast with Butter Rum Flavouring

With 12 votes:

Davroast

Medium Roast with Chocolate Flavouring
Medium Roast with Chocolate Flavouring

With 10 Votes:

Raktajino

A Dark Roast with Cinnamon Flavouring
A Dark Roast with Cinnamon Flavouring

They will be added to our brand new flavour Jack CoCo’Neill and our seasonal flavour The Great Pumpkin.

A light roast with coconut flavouring
A Light Roast with Coconut Flavouring
A light roast with pumpkin flavouring
A Dark Roast with Pumpkin Flavouring

If you know you’ll be at either of our September events and want another flavour from our Coffee page use the form below to pre-order.

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)

Subject

What Coffee do you want to pre-order?

Message

Thank you and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to my Funeral will continue Next Tuesday.

Éric