Tuesday, March 14, 2006

God lives in France this time of the year

Yesterday we based a lot of our trip on chance. We got up in the morning and took a trip to Bayeux which is the closest train stop to Omaha beach. I had a hard time finding solid information about how to actually get to the beach but I was hopeful that we would be able to figure it out once we got to the train station. I believe I said the words. . . "I am sure we will find a large sign that says TOURS OF OMAHA BEACH THIS WAY -->"
We went into Paris to look for the large UBER station that would take us to Normandy. We eventually found the large train station and the attendant was nice enough to let us get on an earlier train which meant that we wouldn't have to transfer at Caen. Win number 1. After passing through Caen which looked like a pretty big town with signs everywhere to visit beaches, we continued on for 20 minutes or so to Bayeux. Okay- so Bayeux is not the metropolis that I had hoped. In fact, it was smaller than Jouy. Quaint, with a big, beautiful, gothic church and a bar. . . . and in the middle of fucking nowhere. Drats. So, trying to be optimimistic we left the train station and started walking toward the bar. About 10 seconds later we saw a giant sign pointing to the bar that said: TOURS OF OMAHA BEACH THIS WAY --> win number 2. The tour place was 'quaint' as well. . . but the tour man was very nice- especially when he told us that we had unfortunately missed the last tour of the day but he could get us a driver to take us to all the sights. win number 3.
So we all piled into an old van and the cutest french man ever, who we later realized was probably just the cook, drove us to the cemetary, Omaha beach and Pont Du Hoc. Very cool . . . very very cool. I also got a message from Aunt Sparky that mentioned that my grandfather had landed there in WW2, so that was pretty neat to think about as well. The final win of the day came when we missed the last train from Versaille to Jouy. Right, doesn't sound like a win-- in fact we thought we might need to get a hotel 10 minutes away from campus. But wait there is more! We walked out of the train station towards the town of Versailles in hopes of a bus or cab that might out of pure luck be willing to go to Jouy en Josas. Right in front of the train station was a cab, I asked the cab driver in French if he spoke English. And he said "No. . . (pause). . .HEC?" Win number 4. 15 euro later, we were back on campus and we didn't even have to walk the mile uphill from the train station in freezing weather. That is a damn bargain if you ask me.

As Matty put it: "God must be in France this time of year"

Few pictures included and more available on the flickr site:

The last few days have been really fun. The Barrister was pretty sick when he got here and now Matty has come down with it as well. We have been taking it easy just kind of heading to Paris as people feel well enough. Tomorrow we head to London. With our luck, let's hope God has a timeshare in London as well.


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