Nick Riggs

D-Day heroes at Cote de Nacre - Al Fresco Holidays

D Day celebrations Al Fresco

Hi everyone,

Just thought I’d share with you Becky’s account of a recent trip to the Normandy coast:-)

Clear blue skies greeted us on arrival at Cote de Nacre, along with Tanya the rep, who was happy and smiling, and welcoming.

Not long after our arrival, the WW2 British and UK jeeps started arriving on site, to the delight of my friends, Paul and Dot, who are avid WW2 military fans.  Paul has a fantastic knowledge of all WW2 vehicles and was soon off to chat with the Dutch and British owners about every part of their vehicles!

Later that day, Tanya informed us that there were some veterans and friends on site, who had come over for the D Day memorial visit, and were staying “ Al Fresco” , so off we went in search of some heroes.  It didn’t take us long to find them as they were all sat outside on the veranda, enjoying the June sunshine and sampling a few local beers. We were invited  to join in and we had a great afternoon. They showed us how they had prepared their 2 mobiles homes: one for cooking, the other for sleeping! They were cooking “ army” style with one of the pensioners in charge, making a huge shepherds pie, enough to feed an army! They were great fun and very entertaining. In fact Tanya told us they made more noise then any younger group on the site and their average age was 70+!

We visited some fantastic places that week, Arromanches ( with the floating mulberries still out there in the bay), we went to Gold beach on D day, to a moving scene as hundreds of union jack flags fluttered in the wind, each with a personal message on. We attended a local primary school service on the beach at St Aubin on D Day, and it brought a lump to my throat to listen to the local children sing our National Anthem, and the children  placed painted pebbles at the edge of the sea to remember our fallen troops.

Mulberry harbour Arromanches

Mulberry harbours Arromanches

At Pegasus bridge we met some of the British paratroopers who told us they were honoured that they had been chosen to “ drop” at Pegasus bridge, early in the morning of D Day. We met veterans making a moving walk across the bridge. We also met Major John Howard’s  daughter, (John Howard was one of the first men to cross Pegasus Bridge) and some of the RAF veterans, which meant a lot to me as my father was a Spitfire pilot.

We also went to the huge British and American cemeteries, where emotions take over and you begin to realise the huge sacrifices we made.

We ended D Day, by walking to the beach at St Aubin, along with our veterans friends, one of whom was in plaster cast. He feared he wouldn’t make the trip that evening to see the fireworks, but our heroic reps, Tanya and Ian, weren’t going to let him miss it! Tanya went into the local town and got him a wheelchair and pushed him over to the promenade. One of the veterans ,Terry,  who used to be in the entertainment business many years before  had us all laughing in no time, with his concert hall singing. There was then a spectacular firework display at 75 different points along the Normandy coast. Truly memorable.

We visited so many things that week and saw so much and at times you would have thought it was the 1940’s, because nearly every vehicle on the road was from WW2, including tanks!

It’s a fantastic time to visit this area, with so much to see and do. But remember all the D day museums are open most of the year round, so it doesn’t matter it you don’t visit in June. Cote De Nacre is perfectly placed to go and experience all the history it holds.

Becky Lee

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