|Pat, Travis, and I in Normandy|
|Arab-Norman style from Monreale, Sicily|
|Ruins of Abbaye de Jumièges (back)|
|Arab-Norman style |
from Cefalù, Sicily
|Ruins of Abbaye de Jumièges|
I don't know how apparent it is from my pictures, but there are a lot of similarities between the Norman architecture of France and the Arab-Norman architecture of Sicily. The most striking difference is the colors of the stone. In Sicily, pietrarosa (pink stone) is everywhere, while in Normandy, white limestone is in abundance. Anyway, this stuff is very interesting to me, but we saw other stuff too, which might be more interesting to less "Norman-conscious" people:
We naturally spent a lot of time touring the D-Day beaches, particularly Omaha Beach.
|Overlooking Omaha Beach|
I always was awed by the sacrifice that they made, but only in visiting the place did I realize how young they were. They gave not only their lives, but their years of youth, for people who lived thousands of miles away.
Another thing I couldn't help but notice is the incredible gratitude felt by the people of the region for the sacrifices of the Allied Forces. You see it in the people themselves (who are very kind and welcoming--so much for French stereotypes), but even in the scenery. Most of the damage has been repaired, the wreckage and "hedgehogs" cleared, the churches rebuilt, but certain sites are still maintained with great care.
|Craters/ruined batteries at Point du Hoc|
|Sunset over a German battery|
|Pat, Travis, and I at the Basilica of St. Therese of Lisieux|
Related photo, but subject matter no less random:
|Pat and I race around the inside of a crater at Point du Hoc|