On 14th May 1940 German forces invaded Rotterdam in a bid to take the city over. Situated on each side of the river Maas, they fought the Dutch military defences under demands of Hitler during World War Two. The actual bombings started during the negotiation process between the Dutch and Germans, destorying the heart of the city with a massive air raid. These bombings could of been stopped if the message had been brought over on time. The entire historic city centre was destroyed with up to 900 persons killed and 85,000 people becoming homeless. Continue reading “Museum Rotterdam ’40-’45 NU”
Blue skies and sunshine provided us a perfect day on our trip to Katwijk. A popular seaside destination for Dutchies looking for sand between their toes and a dip in the sea. Unlike Scheveningen, which is very touristic within the summer period, Katwijk has the neighbourly feeling of only Dutchies and locals.
Normandy is best known for the battle of D-Day invaision during World War Two, from June 6th, 1944 until July, 1944. Operation Overlord took palce on the beaches Juno, Omaha, Gold, Utah and Sword, which were swormed with American, Canadian and British troops. Air attacks took place from above to help weaken the German forces and allow the troops to enter via the beaches. In the end over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy. Continue reading “4 Day D-Day Road Trip Intinerary to Normandy, France”
An early checkout at the B&B meant that we had a good head start on getting back to the Netherlands with plenty of time before needing to check the rented car back in. We decided to drive towards Calais as we had discovered some hidden underground places to visit. They are classed as ‘dark tourism’ so we were interested! It was 3 hours into our 6 hour drive so a great time to stop and stretch our legs too!
Luckily with no traffic on the motorway and a little detour through the Caps et Marais d’Opale Natural Regional Park we arrived at our first destination of the day, the Fortress of Mimoyecques, once an underground world of workers that was the launch base of V-2 Rockets, which would of been sent to bomb London, UK. From the sunny 28°c outside we explored the 10°c tunnels inside. It was cold, dark and a little creepy, since we were the only ones in it for a while! Though very interesting to see what was planned here during the war, and how they managed to keep it a secret for so long from spying enemy planes. Well worth a read on the link and a visit if you are in the area!
The second destination was something a little similar, with underground tunnels and the perfect hideout for the R&D and manufacturing process of rockets, which again of would been used against London, UK if they weren’t stopped in time. Hidden under a concrete dome is the La Coupole. You follow the cold tunnels through to the lift, which takes you to the main part of the museum under the dome. Here you have two really interesting videos about the V2 rockets and how people were treated who worked and lived in the tunnels. You are provided with so much information via the audio headset, so it’s understandable to hear about the history as you look at the recovered artefacts . It’s a place you can spend the whole afternoon at. Definitely recommended to visit!
Our visit to Normandy was short but packed with knowledge! We recommend the Le Clos Saint Jean to stay if you have a car as it is perfect location to travel to and from for visiting the northern coast between Carentan and Cabourg. The rooms are a good size (we had one with private bathroom) and the served breakfasts are delicious. They included fresh bread and cheeses, different fruit salads, jams and fresh juices made straight from their garden. My favourite was their homemade brioche bread with freshly crushed raspberries to pour the juice over the top, delicious! Good luck to the owners Caroline and her husband who only started running it in late 2016.
Click here to go back to the start of our Normandy trip!