S: Paul & Margie FRANCE 2010
FC: [ F R A N C E ] September 2010
1: Friday Monet's Garden in Giverny | Cover photo: The lily pond Left: The lily pond and the Japanese bridge
2: Claude Monet spent the last 40 years of his life cultivating his garden and his art at Giverny In 1883 he moved with his wife and children to this farmhouse 50 miles west of Paris. He developed a great interest in botany and began building his garden in 1890, inspired by the tranquil scenes from the numerous Japanese prints he collected. Some of his most famous paintings are of his garden - the water lily pond and the Japanese bridge.
4: The town of Sainte-Méré-Eglise played a significant part in the World War II Normandy landings because this village stood right in the middle of route N13, which the Germans would have used on any significant counterattack on the troops landing on Utah and Omaha Beaches. In the early morning of 6 June 1944 mixed units of the U.S. 82nd Airborne and U.S. 101st Airborne Divisions occupied the town in Operation Boston, making it one of the first towns liberated in the invasion. | Saturday SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE IN NORMANDY
5: Sainte-Méré-Église Church | Stained glass windows in the church are monuments to the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions | This window features Saint Michael, warrior angel.
6: Musee-Airborne Saint-Mere-Eglise
7: City Hall of Saint-Mere-Eglise American & French flags in every window. | Our guide Christoph. | The American flag is the original that flew over the liberated town in 1944.
8: U t a h B e a c h | Utah Beach was the code name for the westernmost of the Allied landing beaches during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, as part of Operation Overlord on 6 June 1944. Utah Beach is about 3 miles long, The red-roofed house was the target landmark for the U.S. 4th Infantry.
9: TO THE OFFICERS AND SAILORS OF THE UNITED STATES NAVY WHOSE COMPETENCE, COURAGE AND SACRIFICE ENABLED OPERATION OVERLORD, THE GREATEST AMPHIBIOUS INVASION IN HISTORY. THEIR SELFLESS CAUSE WAS TO DESTROY TYRANNY AND RESTORE FREEDOM AND SELF DETERMINATION. THE FALLEN WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN; THE VETERAN WILL EVER BE HONORED. IN GRATEFUL APPRECIATION,THE NAVAL ORDER OF THE UNITED STATES | Utah Beach Monument to the U.S. Navy
10: P O I N T E D U H O C | Four miles west of Omaha Beach and atop 100-foot cliffs, this was the Germans' most heavily fortified position along the Normandy coast. | Bunkers | Paul inside a bunker
11: During the invasion this site was repeatedly shelled by Navy ships, followed by an assault by U.S. Army Rangers. Only 90 of the 300 rangers survived the vertical assault. | The German bunkers and bomb craters remain. | Paul in a bomb crater
12: O M A H A B E A C H | This seven-mile-long beach was protected by high cliffs and heavily fortified by German forces. Approxi-mately 34,000 U.S. soldiers landed here on D-Day. This assault was the most difficult of all the beaches on D-Day, earning the nickname Bloody Omaha. Only a few days after the landings, the Americans had transformed nearly the entire beach into a vast artificial harbor. It was used for less than a week before it was destroyed in a very heavy storm.
13: A view from the American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach.
14: The American Cemetery | The church steeple in the distance was a target landmark for the U.S. landing forces at Omaha Beach.
15: 9,387 Americans are buried in this cemetery, only 39% of those who died in the Battles of Normandy. The monument below sits in the Garden of the Missing, surrounded by a semicircular wall inscribed with the names of 1,557 who were never found.
16: M O N T S A I N T - M I C H E L | Saint Michel
17: Mont-St-Michel is a small rocky island off the coast of Normandy. At high tide it is surrounded by water. The mount is best known for the medieval Benedictine Abbey and steepled church that occupies most of the island.
18: Chateau de Chambord
19: Chateau de Chambord begun in 1519 as a hunting lodge for Francois I | The salamander - royal emblem of Francois I | Double helix staircase. One person can ascend and another descend without ever meeting.
20: Chateau de Villandry
22: Chenonceau | Catherine de Medici's garden
23: Five Queens' Bedroom | Hiding in the maze at Chenonceau | Chateau d'Usse the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty
24: Chateau d'Amboise
25: The chapel of Saint-Hubert. | The chapel of Saint-Hubert. Inside is the tomb of Leornardo de Vinci | Amboise on the Loire River
26: The wine caves in Vouvray | Amboise | Cylamen grow wild behind the hotel
29: Notre Dame | Joan of Arc | The Rose Window
30: Images from The Branley Museum | A river of words | An American Plains Indian headdress | Feathers
31: Saint Chapelle
32: A view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe