After two busy weeks of museums, pétanque and walking tours, students traveled to Normandy for a little fresh air and cool breezes. We left Paris Friday afternoon and arrived at Ma Normadie, a quaint auberge with a main house and several smaller cabins. The area was large enough for students to play soccer, volleyball and badminton. But what really drew the student's attention were the cows in the field just next to us! More animals to come when we visit the farm!
Saturday our day was devoted to learning about the importance of Normandy during WWII and the events that led up to D-day. In the morning we began with the Mémorial de Caen, a musuem which explains the events that led up to WWII, the major players and the result. Students followed the information of the guide in French, asked questions and viewed the primary resources on display. Following the museum visit, we traveled to Arromanches, a coastal town on the beaches of the D-day invasion. Here students enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach, some dipped their toes in the cold water, others shopped for souvenirs or ate an ice cream.
Next we visited the American Cemetary where we watched the lowering of the flag and the playing of the national anthem. Students quietly walked the grounds, looking for crosses of soldiers from their state. We talked about the significance of the sacrifice of these young men.
Our final day in Normandy ended with a visit to a working organic farm. Students got up close and personal with animals of all kinds! The farmer explained in French how the animals at his farm are treated and cared for by the farmer and his wife. The farm is also a producer of apple cider which the students tasted and many purchased!
Overall, our visit gave students the opportunity to see another part of France, very different from Paris. They connected to the history and to the land that is Normandy.