Well im back from Normandy and what can I say but WOW!
First of all I’d like to say that the area itself is beautiful and serene, fitting considering the blood spilt on its soil. The people are very friendly and the vast amount of French, British, American and Canadian flags all over the small villages are testament to the sacrifices made and the gratitude is obvious in the amount of streets named after soldiers, regiments, divisions or the Liberation. The cuisine and its drink, vive le Calvados et cidre, are also top notch. I have taken over 1,300 photos, my wife cannot believe it and I will put the best ones here in this thread over the coming days/weeks.
We took in Pegasus Bridge, Merville Battery, Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha and Utah Beaches. The villages and towns between them. Longues sur Mer Battery, St Marcouf Battery, Douvres Radar Station Maisy Battery, St Mere Eglise, St Marie du Mont, Carentan, Caen and Bayeux. The list of Museums and bunkers is endless. Holt’s battlefield guide proved an invaluable resource especially the longitude and latitude bearings for the GPS. Hiring a car is essential to get around the beach and battle areas. The driving through the country lanes and the discovery of quaint villages like Douvres la Deliverand and Beauvron en Auges just add to the experience.
I was also lucky enough to sit down and chat to a veteran at Arromanches les Bains. Mr H.Billinge, a Royal Engineer attached to 47 (RM) Commando. He was there raising funds for the Normandy Veterans Association (NVA) and it was an honour to hear him speak and an even greater one for him to accept the beer I bought for him!
Yet the most poignant visits were the ones to the cemeteries. We took in the British ones at Ranville and Bayeux. The American one at Coleville. The Canadian one near Beny Sur mer and ofcourse La Cambe. It is overwhelming to see so many soldiers lying at rest overlooking the places they fought over. Overwhelming as well the vast amount of respect one senses when you enter these places. All were immaculate and well cared for and it brought a tear to the eye to see so many Germans resting under the mighty oaks at La Cambe. Impressive as well the Canadian flag at the car park of the Beny cemetery. May their souls rest in the eternal peace these warriors deserve.
Here is one pic from Longues Sur Mer to wet your appetite.
Makes an already amazing building more impressive
Panoramic view of the Mulberry Harbour remians taken from outside the 360 Cinema which is on a hill overlooking this beautiful and emotive village.
We’ve been exploring the Juno Beach and Canadian sectors today. Great visit to the Juno Beach Centre, Radar Musee at Douvres as well as a walk through the beautiful Douvres la Deliverande. Hitting Gold Beach sector tomorrow.
Their names shall liveth ever more.
A picture of the range finder at the top of the Grand Bunker (17metrers). Fantastic view down Sword Beach and a very educational museum as well.
Panoramic view, though i am posting it from my mobile so i have no idea how it will post.
Right on Sword Beach we have this great looking memorial to the men of Cdt Kieffer, Free French Commandos of No 4 Commando. The first Frenchmen to land in France on D-Day.
A but further down the sea front in Lion sur Mer we have a series of memorials to the 3rd British Division.
A very peaceful and poignant visit after being at Pegasus Bridge and Merville
Chapter 2 Part 6
Wolfskull Cave was to be a much sterner test than what Se’rith had ever imagined it to be. It turned that out that several Necromantic cults jad banded together to bring about the reincarnation of Potema the Wolf Queen, a powerful Necromancer of old. An eerie feeling of dread fell upon both Dunmer as they crossed the cave’s shadowy threshold. They disposed of a young Bosmer Necromancer that guarded a portcullis leading deeper into the cave. Well, a cave that housed a whole ruined tower around which evil magics flowed. Ethereal wind carried dark glyphs to an apex above the a tower and every now and again a powerful female voice boomed across the cavern urging its followers to complete the ritual as her transfer into this world was almost complete. Not only would any return of Potema be a danger to the College, it would be a danger to Skyrim as a whole. As Archmage it would be her sworn duty to thwart any attempt at resurrecting the Wolf Queen.
Se’rith and Brelyna were met at every turn by Potema’s servants as they battled against them with fire, ice and claw. Undead minions lurched against them as reeking zombies and rambling skeletons tried to stop the ascent of the College Mages. The closer they got to the main tower the more frantic the chanting became and one female voice in particular rose in pitch and frenzy above all others. Darting in and out of the battlements atop the tower, Se’rith got a glimpse of a wizened old face framed by wispy, spent white hair. Murky red magic surrounded her clenched fists as she conducted the ritual to its conclusion.
The final fight atop the tower was a bloody and merciless affair. The crone was flanked by two younger apprentices that she ordered to her death at the end of Se’rith’s Lightning Bolts. Their deaths were met with insane cackles and one was even raised by the cruel witch to fight again in undeath. Yet numbers and power soon prevailed as both Dunmer were able to dispatch the undead minion and the witch. As Se’rith burned a hole through the necromancer’s chest the ritual stopped with a violence neither Dunmer expected. Blue light expanded across the whole of the cavern, the light hung for a moment before disappearing in a massive explosion of light and sound. A loud roar, half wolf howl, half female shriek made the dark elves cower in pain. However as soon as it has started the noise and bedlam stopped. Examining a bloody and gore filled altar Se’rith saw a wolf image etched into the stone and painted in blood. As she hovered her hand over it her mind ached with an image and feeling of supreme evil, an after image of a snarling wolf’s blood stained maw imprinting on her mind.
They emerged from Wolfskull Cave via a small tunnel leading from a platform next to the tower apex. They stopped for a moment to bask in the warmth of the sun, the city of Solitude and its Arch in the distance.
Just a heads up that I shall be holidaying in Normandy as from the 12th August for a fortnight. Photos and reports upon my return!