Photos from France and Germany  (February 29, 2004)

(Click on any of the thumbnails below to view the full-sized photo.)

These photos were unloaded from my camera on February 29, 2004.

Comments were added nearly two years after the fact.  Very likely, my comments are dated are somewhat inaccurate.

I do remember that I took a road trip to Germany for the sole purpose of picking up some Kinderueberaschungseie (Child's Surprise Eggs).  The photos below are from the road trip to Germany.  I also remember that I went to visit the beaches of Normandy, although I can't remember whether it was the same or a different trip.  I remember that I walked into a rural bar one evening, and a patron in the bar explained to me that there were two Collevilles in France, and I had gone to the wrong one.

These are pictures from my road trip to Germany.

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In Germany, I stayed at a gasthaus.  Because I wanted to save money, I packed all my things and briefly left the hotel in France (hence the photos below of the mess as I repacked).  I remember that the hotel owners helped me quite a bit in finding the eggs.  Once they found out I was looking for a couple hundred of them, they called around and found the best price.  I remember that the hotel maintenance man drove me to the store to show me where it was.

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Exterior pictures of the gasthaus.

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On the road again, but can't remember to probably to the wrong town in France ...

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As you can see in the photo below, my handheld GPS was my good friend ...

Germany and France are right adjacent to each other, and it is funny to see the border consisting of a blue sign.

On the road again ...

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On the highway in France, there were odd objects.  I really couldn't figure out what they were.  I'm guessing some kind of art ...

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On the road again ...

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If my memory serves me correctly, I drove for a while beyond the rural area below, and at around sunset I stopped in a rural bar with less than 10 people in it.  Nobody spoken English, but one of the gentlemen explained to me that I had gone to the wrong town in France to see the beaches of Normandie. 

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Me doing a self-pic alongside the road.

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France is funny because "roundabouts" are the normal intersection.  This is a typical sign showing where each branch of the upcoming roundabout leads.

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This is the hotel where I stayed after I discovered that I had gone to the wrong down in France.  The hotel was a modular building ... interesting construction.

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The lock of the hotel had no key.  They would just give you a number when you checked in.

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The view out the window from the hotel.  It was in an industrial area.

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Me plugging in my cellphone to charge.

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More views out the window.

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Me doing a self-picture in the hallway.

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This is a picture of the map with both places in France (the wrong and the right) circled.  I don't know which was which.

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The exterior of the hotel.

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On the road again ... this time to the correct place in France.

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I did cross two very impressive bridges in France.  These are the photos.

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On the road again ...

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I did finally arrive at the cemetery at the site of the Normandy invasion ...

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It was quite sobering to visit the cemetery.  About 10,000 Americans died on the beaches in a short period of time.  It was sobering also to look at the tombstones and the ages of the young men who died.  Most were in the 18-21 year-old age range.  It was quite sad.  My second observation about the cemetery is that 10,000 is a huge number.  I have never seen so many tombstones in one place.

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The cemetery included a lot of historical information about what occurred ...

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This was a typical tombstone, both for a person identified and for a person not identified.

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More historical information ...

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Down to the beach itself ...

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It was sad to see so many tombstones in one place, most belonging to very young men ...

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I remember wondering if the flowers were left by a relative ... perhaps a child or grandchild of the person killed.

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A large, large number of tombstones ...

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Venturing out to the surrounding area ...

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This is the remains of a German machine-gun emplacement ...

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More historical information and markers ...

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Cows, sheltering themselves from the wind (it was a very cold, windy day when I visited).

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The surrounding area ...

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This marker actually identifies Omaha Beach ...

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More of the surrounding area.  My recollection is that I was there on a Sunday, so the museums were closed.

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On the road again back to Paris ...

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