Normandy - Day Four: Sainte Mere Eglise Church and Market, the Airborne Museum and Bayeux Cemetery.
On Thursday, Mr Hill went for an early morning run, getting a PB for his 1/2, 1 & 2 mile, and 1km. Meanwhile, Mrs Reid went at a similar pace, waking lots of peacefully sleeping children from their dreamy slumber. After being roused, children made swift work of dressing and packing their final belongings for the journey home.
We had our final French breakfast, and made packed lunches for the full day ahead. While waiting for the coaches to collect us, we joined Miss Spooncer for some energetic Wake and Shake in the Chateau grounds.
After boarding the coaches, we travelled to Sainte-Mere-Eglise, a small town with a very significant history. From the photo, you'll see that the church in the centre by the market has a parachutist (model) dangling from it. This commemorates the actual D-Day event when John Steele, a US Paratrooper, was caught on the church spire as he descended as part of the invasion force (the incident is captured in the film "The Longest Day"). He remained undetected for some hours, but was taken prisoner by the Germans, from whom he escaped. He rejoined his division and fought the Germans, helping to regain land that had been occupied.
The church also features remarkable stained glass windows that are a memorial to those who fought in the War and liberated occupied France.
The market was a great chance to spend the additional euros the children were given, and an opportunity to speak French with purpose. Many gifts were bought for family members and friends, as well as some crepes for instant consumption.
After lunch, we visited the US Airborne Museum, also in the centre of town. This was a varied and comprehensive set of exhibitions and WWII artefacts.
We then left the town, taking the coaches to Bayeux Cemetery. There, Mrs Underwood led us in laying a wreath. She also reflected on the whole visit to Normandy with us, finding it to have been a wholeheartedly positive event.
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