A place for family and friends to keep up with the Carlson's!

The Carlson Family

The Carlson Family

Monday, March 31, 2008

Mont Saint Michel

At the southern most point of the region of Normandy France is Mont. St. Michel. This was another location that our camera could not truely capture the beauty and size of this magnificent place. I would suggest you google Mont. Saint Michel for more pictures and information on its history.
Mont St. Michel was initially constructed during the 6th and 7th centuries. It is a small town with a a magnificent Abbey at the top that was constructed during the 11th century. This town is surrounded by water during high tide and mud flats during low tide.

Pointe du Hoc Monument

After the Normandy Military Cemetary, we then traveled 8 miles west to the Pointe Du Hoc Monument. This monument honors the rangers who scaled the cliffs using metal hooks to disable German guns that were shooting out over Omaha and Utah beaches.

You can still see the craters in the ground from the massive bombing that occured by the Americans prior to the rangers scaling the cliffs. The remains of the German bunkers can be explored here as well.

Normandy American Military Cemetary and Memorial

Well everyone finally got over the stomach flu and we made our 7 hour trip out to Normandy France. What an experience for all of us, it is such an amazing and beautiful place. Our first stop was the Normandy American Military Cemetary and Memorial that overlooks Omaha Beach. Omaha beach is one of the beaches the Americans landed on during the D-day invasion on June 6, 1944. The cemetary honors 9, 387 soldiers who are buried here along with 1, 557 who are considered missing in action.

We also walked along the beach itself and from there you could see the steep bluffs the soldiers had to climb all while under heavy enemy fire from the Germans. It truely is amazing and difficult to put into words the size and scale of this area. Here are some pictures of our time here.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to everyone!!!!

What an interesting day for all of us here. We have oma and grandpa Nedry visiting us...although both are sick with the stomach flu. Then we realized that we had a bird caught in our chimney. We listened to it banging around all day and weren't quite sure what it was. Then late this afternoon Mark could see yellow feet hanging down the flume, but the bird was stuck. We called the management company for our apartment to have the bird removed, and were told to call the fireman! So we did. How many firemen does it take to remove a bird from the chimney? 5!!!!! They just kept coming through our front door. But thankfully they got the bird out alive and released him off our balcony. Mark was just very relieved not to have had to deal with this one on his own and with a different outcome than we all were expecting, including the firemen!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Bastogne Belgium: The Battle of the Bulge

On Sunday we drove about an hour from Luxembourg to the small town of Bastogne Belgium. This area is known as the site of the Battle of the Bulge of World War II. This was Hitlers last great offensive against the Americans. The battle began on December 16, 1944 and is called the Battle of the Bulge because this is the shape the front line took as the Germans attempted to push through the area. There were 7x the number of casualties here than at Normandy- nearly 81,000 Americans. The Americans were able to defeat the Germans despite being outnumbered, and this was the major turning point in the war.

When you visit this region and the huge memorial it is an amazing experience. You have a much greater appreciation for the sacrifices made here during World War II. Mark and I have learned more about history in the short time that we've been in Luxembourg than I think we ever remember learning in school. However, it is when you visit these regions, overlook the battle fields, walk through the museums and see the documentaries that you can't help but become a much more humbled and educated individual.