Date: August 2019
A vital part in history, Caen in Normandy, is bustling with memories of the past from William the Conqueror to WW2.
With just a quick hour flight via Flybe, from London Southend, Caen is extremely accessible. The whole experience is delightfully relaxing, especially with the newly opened Ruuby beauty in the departure lounge, whom offer drop-in mini treatments from manicures to massages for all. Or if you are more organised, book in advance on southendairport.com.
With a very warming reception from the locals, Caen is the perfect place to soak up history or sunrays on the vast beaches.
Norman Rockwell (1894-1978) was an iconic American Illustrator, who illustrated covers for The Saturday Evening Post for 47 years. The public loved his often-humorous depictions of American Life. In January 1941, USA President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave one of the most important speeches of the 20th Century. This inspired Rockwell to produce four paintings to illustrate the “Four Freedoms”. During WW2, these paintings travelled the United States, raising millions of dollars to support the war effort.
For the first time ever, the “Four Freedoms” paintings have left American soil and are being exhibited at the Caen Memorial for the 75th anniversary of the Allied Landings and the Battle of Normandy until 27th October 2019. This is a great opportunity to see how the illustrations were put together, as well as to see other iconic pictures of Rockwell’s. Book your exhibition tickets here: www.normandy.memorial-caen.com.
It is recommended for a minimum of four hours to soak up all the detailed history provided at this wonderfully put together Caen Memorial museum to receive the full experience of WW1 through to the Cold War.
Just a short distance from Caen, along the River Orne is the famous Pegasus Bridge. This was the first place to be liberated on D-Day, 6th June 1944. Then at the mouth of the river you will reach Ouistreham with its stretches of golden beaches. At the tourist centre grab your headphones and sun parasol, for only €6, to be transported back to the occupation of WW2 and listen to local’s memories while wandering around the town on the brand new walking tour. This is an unforgettable experience as you really do feel as if you are back in time as landmarks are pointed out to you as you walk with the GPS tracker. It is important to remember and respect what happened here. Lest we not forget.
Caen is perfect for a long weekend of discovery for all ages. From William the Conqueror’s castle founded in 1063, to Caen Memorial, to cider orchards, to theme parks. Stay at one of Caen’s wonderful hotels such as the 4* Best Western Plus Le Moderne, located in the heart of the town which has reasonably priced rooms. With so much to do, it’s ideal to just hop over the Channel and explore!