This tour was part of a 2-weeks solo backpacking trip in Europe. As my stay in France coincided with the anniversary of D-Day I thought it would be meaningful to explore the Normandy region and visit the landing beaches. My brother had piqued my interest in the events on D-Day having watched films like Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan and I was naturally inclined to go for the American D-Day experience tour.
Andy was our guide and he did an excellent job keeping the tour engaging. Together with the videos played on the bus and a real-time GPS map, there was never a dull moment. I appreciated how he made sure I didn't feel left out, being the only non-American in the group of 15. Andy was very knowledgeable and I felt I would have benefited much more if I had spent more time understanding the history of that fateful day before the tour. Nevertheless, Andy ensured the tour was not just a show&tell and sets you thinking on how no one wins at the end of a a war. I felt that it was extremely meaningful to start the tour at the German war cemetery. Being from a country where all men serve mandatory military service I sympathise with how these brave soldiers might merely be following orders and serving their nation.
Being an "American" D-Day Experience tour, there was heavy focus on the bravery and heroic acts of the American soldiers. But I was taken aback by a lady in the group who openly and specifically asked for my opinion towards the end of the tour, after confirming that it was my first time at the beaches (like many fellow American tour members). I could only presume that she thought I had zero knowledge of D-Day before the tour and probably even expecting me to sing praises for the bravery of the American soldiers. She later followed with a snide remark on my less-than-perfect complexion which I thought was uncalled for.
Other than the small incident, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I wished I had the time to also join the British and Canadian tours to gain more perspectives on D-Day and would encourage everyone to do so.
I also took the shuttle service to Mont Saint Michel through Bayeux Shuttle without any issues. The driver, Frederic, was polite and friendly.
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