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Christophe Rault Private Tours

Herouville-Saint-Clair, France
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Christophe Rault Private Tours
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JACKELAINE61 wrote a review Jan 2020
Royal Oak, Michigan1 contribution2 helpful votes
Visiting Normandy . I happen to think before you read a review, one would want to know who is writing it . We are a couple from the USA whose parents were in WWll , although both out of combat in the medical corps . We realize our younger brothers and sisters might not exist. I have a high interest in history , my wife’s is lower. We just completed a weekend walking tour of the London BLITZ with an excellent tour group “ Battle Honours LONDON” ( their review is also posted by us .) After reading various reviews, we found Christophe Rault , we absolutely made the correct choice. Touring Normandy is not confined to a day or two walking the area , one must think in advance about what you are looking at and why you are looking at it . Who was here , why , what if they never came , or did not succeed, what did it take to get them here , including the sacrifice of the workers back in the USA, the planning , and making the trucks and tanks and food to make it happen . What did it feel like to have someone away … someplace ? If you just want to tell your neighbors you went there, take a $50.00 tour bus tour and save Christophe the grief of trying to educate the uninterested. We took the ferry out of Portsmouth at midnight and arrive in Caen (Sword Beach ) at 6am like the troops did , stayed in Caen a day and then on to our tour . Christophe picked us up at our hotel. We toured for two days in December 2019 , off season . Off season, though not planned was a good choice . We had the villages and the beaches to ourselves. Christophe told us that in June it may take an hour to walk to Pointe du Hoc, and another hour to walk back to the remote parking lot . In December we drove in and parked by the gate . Who is Christophe? A local , appx 50 , full time guide for 20 years , with an interest in history since he was 10 , who grasps world history from William the conqueror ( from Caen 1066 ) to present day and where WWll falls within it . He will pick you up at your hotel early in the morning , drive ( super clean car) you to your points of interest and give you macro and micro details of the campaign or what squad and what private stood here , at what hour , on what day and why it mattered . And return you to your hotel late in the day , with a stop for lunch or not , you decide, we went almost non stop . He will tell you Normandy is a big place , as big as Massachusetts , Rhode Island and Connecticut , you cannot see it all. What do you want to see ? We toured the American area , Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, Utah Beach and inland a short distance. The detail he provided was just right . He is very knowledgeable, speaks fluent English , is patient and has many photos and maps . He will customize your tour but keep in mind when he tells you it is 50 miles from Caen to Utah , it is , and you are on back country roads . (He fills in history along the drive. ) Normandy is a small part in in this enormous segment of world history , Christopher is a repository of information he has learned over the years from books , and photos, observations, locals and veterans . It is different standing beside a shell marked house, seeing the photo of it in 1939 , again on June 8, now , and knowing who ran down this street from Whiter New Jersey . In summary, it was a lifetime experience. We could not have gotten a better guide . We chose a private trip , worth it , we went in off season ( we froze in the rain with seven layers of clothing ) but the access and solitude , was well worth it , it also allowed Christophe to ignore the non-existing traffic and crowds . Two days was necessary to grasp the enormity of the event. Christophe will take you to the important places and tell you what happen here , You must stand on the waters edge , for a period of time , and look up the exit roads and try to comprehend . He has all the information , he will also give you time to stand there all alone and think . You are only going to be there once . If cost is an issue , cut back on your food , or deluxe hotel or chocolates and invest in a private tour . Consider the off season . He states during the season we would never have got him on short notice . In addition we should note that during our visit there was another transportation strike in France (should that surprise anyone?). We needed to travel from Caen to Paris in order to fly home. We were really unsure if we were going to be able to do that. Christophe took us to the train station in Bayeux, went in with us and talked to the train agent there. He found out about only 2 trains leaving the next day and helped us get tickets on one of the trains. We easily made it from Caen to Paris. It would have been extremely difficult for us to do this by ourselves since we do not speak French and the news on TV seemed to indicate that absolutely nothing was running. Thank you Christophe WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND CHRISTOPHE RAULT you can google him direct on the internet .
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Date of experience: December 2019
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Cheryl D wrote a review Dec 2019
1 contribution2 helpful votes
Christophe's knowledge and passion are noteworthy. Mr. Rault's approach is that of a storyteller; he describes events so clearly and weaves each into an evolving story. Over the course of two days, my husband and I gained a deeper understanding of the Normandy invasion and the undeniable valor of the allied troops. Our time with Christophe flew by. We will return to Normandy and meet with him again. Christope is truly extraordinary.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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Todd Carrigan wrote a review Oct 2019
2 contributions2 helpful votes
Christophe was excellent in every regard. Friendly,personable and a real expert that delivers knowledge in interesting and fully informative way. We spent one 8 hour day with Christophe covering three locations. Looking back now, we could have easily spent two full days with him. A very nice, very well informed and entertaining guide.
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Date of experience: September 2019
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John N wrote a review Jul 2019
Chicago, Illinois2 contributions2 helpful votes
We booked a tour with Christophe six months ahead of our arrival and he was already committed on 2 of the 3 days we had available. We are really happy we committed to the one that remained. Our tour was door to door and lasted 12 hours with substantial driving time devoted to a comprehensive background to the D Day events. We focused on the American sector but Christophe is an encyclopedia of the Battle of Normandy easily able to bring context to any site or subject. We were especially impressed with his story telling ability which almost always included an interesting post war epilogue. The best tour we could have imagined. After 12 hours he still diverted from our drop off in Honfleur to show us one last Germán bunker within a short walk of where we stayed.
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Date of experience: July 2019
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Mattadviso wrote a review Jun 2019
18 contributions6 helpful votes
+1
Christophe has an unbelievable amount of knowledge that I can’t imagine you could get anywhere. He has a passion for what he does and it comes across in his tour. I would highly recommend him.
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Date of experience: June 2019
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