At 4 25 a.m., we made our way towards Main Hall with our suitcase in one hand and a pillow in the other. One last sigh and we stepped onto the bus and fell into deep slumber for the next seven hours. We then boarded the ferry to go to France. Once we made it to France, we still had about four hours on our bus until we finally made it to our little hotel by the beach in Normandy. Upon arriving in our hotel, we were warmly welcomed with loads of potato balls, crispy French buns and the fact that there will be no wi-fi. However, our wounds healed (no wi-fi is an absolute tragedy) as we got to enjoy the beautiful beach that is right behind our hotel.
Total travelling time: 12 hours
On the second day, we woke up early for a long journey to the D-day landings, where we walked along Omaha beach.
We also saw the US cemetery, which was really memorable and touching.
We then went to Longeus sur Mer, which is a gun battery and saw old weapons and forts.
The sites told us a lot about the war that words cannot describe and the pictures cannot do these sites justice.
On the third day, we had to do a lot of walking. We went to see St. Malo and got to enjoy an amazing lunch in the vibrant town.
We then made our way to Le Mont Saint Michel, where we had to go up a billion of stairs. When we finally arrived, the tiring hike was worth all the sweat. The place was rich with history and had a lot of mysteries within its walls. Plus, the food was great. We had a lot of fun looking around and also managed to take some really nice pictures.
On the fourth day, we went to see the Pegasus Bridge, which played a really huge role in D-day because it was where the first soldiers died. We were able to see both the replica and the real Pegasus Bridge, along with the gliders used. We were also impressed upon hearing stories on how the British soldiers were able to liberate the entire bridge in tact (except for some bullet holes that we saw on the bridge). We also got a chance to see the actual ruins of the gliders used to drop the soldiers close to the bridge. It was truly inspirational.
We then went to Bayeux Tapestry and Military Museum where we got to see more weapons, uniforms and ruins. The museums had an extensive range of impressive artifacts that leaves us gawking. Our lively guide enlightened us with witness’ stories from the war. With the aid of some very cool screens and simulations, we were able to grasp the story of what happened in Normandy. In France, we were able to enjoy the traditional cuisines: from Boeuf bourguignon, Moules à la crème Normande (which is mussels cooked with whine wine, Normandy cider, garlic and cream to desserts such as crepes, crème brûlée and Tarte Normande (apple tart). The food was absolutely divine and we had a hard time controlling ourselves to avoid ordering the entire menu.
After spending four nights in Normandy, we finally had to go home. It was another exhausting trip back but we made it safely back to Concord (with the slight detour to see Windsor Castle!)
The trip was mesmerizing and it taught us a lot on the British history and opened our eyes to the past whilst opening them to the future. The names of these men continue to live among us as we remember what they have done for Britain. Besides being able to appreciate Britain’s diverse history, we managed to bond with each other and share these wonderful moments together. We would like to thank the teachers for being extremely patient with us and making sure that we had fun. We had such a great time and are looking forward to the next school trip next year.
Astrid Suryandari 6.1