happy birthday wesley

Written by Wesley Klehm

10155369_10100903083864515_5002991459372319624_n

We began with breakfast, or at least what amounted to breakfast.  It was a cup of yogurt, cold cuts, a croussant, and juice.  During the meal, Madame Normandy asked us why we were visiting and then brought us a bunch of brochures for various things to see.  It was great because we hadn’t planned the day yet.  I picked the few that made sense geographicallly that I wanted to see and we headed off.  Distances here are very deceptive, on the map it looked like we’d be driving for a while, but 30 minutes later, we arrived at the Great Bunker!  This command bunker in Ouistreham was a look-out and command bunker for the surrounding area, which was the east edge of Sword beach during the landing.  It also had lots of gear from the war and mannequins dressed as the soldiers would have been in the war.

10340162_10100903081204845_1833982308658024656_n

The bunker had a large telescopic lens device which was used for rangefinding.  This bunker would spot targets and pass the coordinates to artillery batteries.  The bunker also had the landing craft that was restored and used for the opening scenes of Saving Private Ryan.

10334285_10100903081314625_6597603102488126735_n

We took lots of pictures of that and the Priest and Sherman and then moved on.  We went for a walk down to the beach but there wasn’t much there.  There was a big dune on the beach that probably was a something, but had been covered up, so we left.

10273524_10100903084188865_8941182023614645138_n

We headed back down the road we came and shortly arrived at the Pegasus memorial museum.  This was a bridge that some British glider paratroopers were tasked with taking control of the night of the landings.  They were to hold it at all costs and succeeded.  It actually had quite a bit of interesting information and items from the war.  There guns, uniforms, letters, scale models of the battle, videos, and other interesting things.  Outside they had a few artillery pieces, anti-aircraft guns, a Horsa glider like the one used in the attack, and the actual bridge itself.  The bridge was replaced in 1994 to handle modern traffic, but in order to preserve the memorial of the battle, they moved the original bridge to a little park nearby.

10308900_10100903082372505_1737069475098991925_n

Finally, we moved on to the Merville Artillery Battery.  This battery would have been firing on Sword beach during the landings.  It was silenced by British paratroopers the night before D-Day.  They had a fully restored C-47, but the rest of the battery was kind of weird.

10173745_10100903082821605_6959507015574738325_n

The bunkers weren’t being taken care of very well (two were fully flooded and impossible to enter), and the biggest bunker had a light and sound show in it.  But, the show was not the best.  It was to simulate what it would have been like during the night the British attacked.  But it was not done quite right.  In fact we both sort of felt it was disrespectful.  The light show was really hokey and displayed weird wiremesh outlines of british soldiers on a canvas.  The sound show by itself would have been great alone, it was loud and intense, but the lights part really detracted.

10177402_10100903082636975_305911550523904136_n

We finished off with a lovely dinner to celebrate Wesley’s birthday.  He ordered something off the menu that we didn’t know what it was.  The waitress asked if we knew, and we nodded.  We knew it was sausage of some kind.  We he received it though, Wesley made a face and started smelling the plate.  It stank!  It smelled like a pig farm in a quite literal sense.  Evidently what Wesley ordered was pig intestine stuffed with cooked pig intestine.  Nasty…nasty nasty nasty!  Happy birthday to Wesley!

10155481_10100903083984275_6924862570696077455_n

Click here for our pictures.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s