The planned schedule for the day included a visit to the Normandy Armour museum and watching the 1st round of parachute jumps to commemorate D-Day at Carentan.
Things started out slightly wobbly with Pieter being wet (running and slipping) before we managed to leave the hotel grounds, so we had to change his clothes as we entered the museum. Annabellé who followed him only suffered wet shoes. Dry pants and both in slippers we ventured into the museum.
It is small, but it does pack a punch in terms of diversity – a very worthwhile visit for the enthusiast and his/her family, Pieter loved taking photos throughout the visit.
Outside were a few tents selling food and militaria, so we could get new shoes for both kids (camouflaged sneakers of course).
Accross the road for a beer and to order a taxi, we hit town for a worthwhile lunch across from the station and then a 2km walk (as advised by the tourism office, due to the congestion) to the drop zone at Carentan. This is to commemorate the jump by the 101st Airborne division in the early hours of the morning before the invasion.
We got to the zone, unfortunately the jump was delayed by an hour and half and Pieter and Annabellé decided that playing in the long grass was the best remedy!
At last the planes appeared, but alas the wind was too strong and the jump was cancelled. If you think the 2 000 or 3 000 spectators were disappointed, I can only imagine the feeling of deflation of the 250 odd jumpers that were in the fleet of nine Dakotas!
The rest of the afternoon included the unveiling of 2 monuments on the way back. The first commemorating the bayonet charge by Lt Winters at Carentan (as made famous in the Band of Brothers), and the second the liberation of the town by the 101st Airborne. Watching them aware not fun for the kids :). This was followed by a parade through the town by military personnel from 5 countries and a few bands, this they enjoyed a lot more and they got to play with the flags bought earlier the day.
Then, back to the Hotel for a dinner and crashing, we were all dead, especially the adults who carried the children (by then sleeping) back nearly all the way the 2km to town!