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Excited to Jaunt to My First World War II Sites

World War II 06

When we went to Istanbul I was hopeful we’d get to jaunt to Gallipoli, site of a World War I battlefield. I’d never visited a WWI battlefield before. I thought that might be a pretty powerful experience.

Sadly, it was a bit of a commitment and we opted to hit Ephesus instead. (Which was fabulous, so I’m not complaining.)

Now we’re about to embark on a British Isles cruise and I find myself having the chance to visit World War II sites. Which is perhaps as exciting to me as it is for some people coming to the South for the first time and visiting Civil War sites.

Why Do I Care About WWII?

My parents both basically came of age during World War II. They were here in the States, didn’t experience any of the fighting or anything like that, but from what I gather the war made a huge impression nonetheless.

My dad has always been a World War II military buff. My mom rarely reminisced about her past, but when she did it was commonly about life during the war. Which I soaked up, because my mom was mysterious to me. Any glimmer of information she’d give, I was ready to absorb.

So I believe my parents have influenced my interest in World War II. It’s a connection to them and a way to try and figure them out more.

Virgin WWII Jaunter

There are places here in the States with connections to WWII, but as far as battles? Not really. (With the exception of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.)

I’ve never been anywhere where World War II history was actually made, happened, etc.

However, on our cruise we’ll have the chance to see some places definitely involved and directly affected by World War II.

Guernsey

We’ll make a stop in Guernsey, Channel Islands. The Channel Islands were the only British Territory to be occupied by Germans during World War II.

There are several museums I’d like to visit, including:

  • The German Occupation Museum
  • German Naval Signs HQ
  • La Vallette Underground Military Museum
  • German Underground Hospital

Not sure we’ll have time for them all, but I’ll be delighted to squeeze in whichever ones we can. (We have a short day in Guernsey, 7-3, plus it’s a tender port. Usually it doesn’t take the tender’s long to get to and fro, but getting on a tender boat can sometimes be a wait.)

Anyway, what a place to get the chance to see! A place that had been under German occupation. That is spooky in and of itself.

Normandy

The last port our ship will dock in before the end of our cruise is Le Havre, France. The ship lists it like this: “Paris/Normandy (le Havre), France.”

Wayne assumed I’d be all over Paris.

“Isn’t it every girl’s dream to see the Eiffel Tower?” he asked when I told him how excited I was to have the chance to go to Normandy.

He was stunned. Then he read up about visiting the D-Day beaches and saw some previous cruisers’ remarks about if you have the chance to go to Paris or Normandy, choose Normandy. How its humbling to see sites like Omaha Beach and the American cemetery.

I’ve always said I’m not sure I could handle such a visit, but I’ve always wanted to go and I’d really like to do it. I hope we get the chance.

The trouble is tours are a little pricey, but…you only live once right? Gotta take advantage of opportunities when they’re presented. Considering I’m almost 45 and this is my first time getting near Normandy, I better heed my own advice.

I even found some tours on Viator:


Le Havre Shore Excursion: Private Day Tour of Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and Normandy American Cemetery


Le Havre Shore Excursion: Private Day Tour of the Juno Beach Center, Canadian Cemetery and Abbey d’Ardenne


Le Havre Shore Excursion: Private Day Tour of Pegasus Bridge, British Cemetery and Sword Beach

 

Courtney Mroch
Courtney Mroch, otherwise known as HJ's Ambassador of Dark and Paranormal Tourism, is an author, traveler, and ghost enthusiast. When she's not writing, jaunting, or planning her next trip, it's a safe bet you'll find her on a tennis court somewhere. She currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.
http://www.courtneymroch.com

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