“Viajar a Normandía es como meterse en una máquina del tiempo”

“Viajar a Normandía es como meterse en una máquina del tiempo”

Surely everyone has ever thought of pressing a button and traveling to the past. Go, in an instant, from our vibrant technological age to the harsh prehistory, 3,000 years ago, when human beings survived as best they could, or the time of the pharaohs, or the dark Middle Ages, or the Roaring 20s in Paris … Although, for now, that is a utopia.

What we can do is use our imagination. And, for that, the travel agency PANGEA The Travel Store has created its third author’s journey with history to the shores of Normandy, exactly to the same place where the Allied landing against the Germans took place on June 6, 1944, which It was the beginning of the end of the Nazi army and World War II.

“This trip will be like we will get fully into a historical film”, advances Sergio Martínez, historian specializing in World War II and owner of the YouTube channel War Stories That Deserve to Be Told, who will accompany the group of travelers on this author trip to Normandy that will be a unique experience.

What happened on June 6, 1944?

On June 6, 2022 -when we will start this trip- it will be 78 years since the allies landed on the French coast of Normandy and opened the long-awaited second front in Europe that Stalin had demanded so much, and that, also, they wanted so much to do. perform different American commands. With this began a battle that would take place over two months in the Normandy region, and that would conclude with a disastrous retreat for the Germans.

Photo by Sergio Martínez, historian

Interesting, what will this trip bring?

Anyone who is considering going or not, probably because something has seen or studied on the subject. When you study history, or watch documentaries or movies, in the end it’s like a fiction that happens inside your head, but that you can’t touch or experience. The feeling when arriving at the iconic places where everything happened cannot be explained in words, as it turns everything that your imagination has been creating in your head into a reality. The most special thing is that, once you have been there in person, every time you go back to see or study something about this event, you will do it from a different point of view.

What is the highlight of the itinerary?

From my point of view, the beaches of Omaha and Utah, the Crisbecq batteries completely preserved and restored, the German cemetery of Le Cambe, and the American of Omaha, the city of Villers Bocage, where Wittmann fought his most famous battle and, Finally, we will have the possibility to buy relics of the battle in the different towns. In addition, we will enter many museums where we will observe tanks and all kinds of original weapons, we will see other cemeteries such as the Canadian, Polish or British, and other batteries and iconic towns, you have everything detailed on the PANGEA website.

Mont_Saint-Michel,_France

Mont_Saint-Michel,_France

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What do you think will impress travelers the most?

The American cemetery, in which several films have been shot, such as Saving Private Ryan. The great cliff of Pointe du Hoc. The grave of Michael Wittmann. The Norman French villages so characteristic. And, finally, see the real weapons of the war, mainly the battle tanks. Again, it will go according to the tastes of each one.

And what will they learn?

We will get a first-hand idea of ​​how the battle unfolded, and what the keys to it were. The feeling will be similar to being in the middle of a movie. In addition to the places related to the Second World War, we will see numerous cathedrals, such as Caen or Bayeux, and the castle of William of Normandy himself in Caen. Although our main objective is related to the world conflict, the Normandy region is very rich in history and all travelers will be able to verify this.

That, and what will we know about destiny?

We will get to know the most important beaches where the fighting was most intense, and where the most fortifications remain. We will visit all the cemeteries in which, as you can see, they keep their own essence. Of course, we will enter the most relevant museums, where we will see everything from battle tanks to uniforms, weapons, and unpublished photographs. We will be in such iconic cities as Sainte Mere Eglise, Carentan, Caen or Bayeux, where we will see the remains of the battle. We will be located at the exact point where Michael Wittmann fought his most famous battle, or at the place where he was finally shot down. And in the meantime, and as a final touch, I insist, we will contemplate the beautiful landscape that the Normandy region already offers.

Landing tribute sculpture

Landing tribute sculpture

Sergio Martinez

What type of traveler can be attracted to this type of trip?

The best traveler is always a person with a desire for adventure and exploration. Someone who is passionate about history and who likes to travel and live new emotions. This is not a canned trip to visit the four typical things without any connection to each other. It is a trip that has been planned in detail, and that aims to give travelers the most complete experience possible. Would you like to experience World War II first-hand, instead of watching it in documentaries over and over again, or reading it in books? If the answer is yes, you meet the profile.

For movies, I recommend Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, and a more recent movie called Rommel from 2012.

And you will always be with the travelers?

Of course always. I will accompany the group as an expert author. I will try to contribute all my knowledge to enrich the experience and that the group enjoys it as much as I did when I went. We will move in a group, by bus. From our hotel (beautiful, by the way more details on the web) located on Juno beach itself and with magnificent views, we will go out every day to each of the places we are going to visit.

The departure of the trip is June 5, what weather will it do on those dates?

It is difficult to know so far in advance, but it will very possibly be cloudy and with a temperature not exceeding 20 degrees. So that everyone can get an idea, the climate there is very similar to what we can find in Galicia or the Basque Country. I suggest bringing a raincoat, a jacket to protect yourself from possible colder days and good shoes to walk both in the city and by land.

Étrat

Étrat

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Any interesting book or movie to inspire me?

As movies, I recommend Saving Private Ryan, The Longest Day, and a more recent movie called Rommel from 2012. As books, Overlord by Max Hastings or D-Day by Antony Beevor will come in handy.

Finally, where do I have to sign up?

You have to enter the “Travels with History” website in PANGEA. You can also call 930 185 123. Of course, we will travel in a small group, maximum 16 seats.

With this journey of author with history you will be able to know on the ground one of the most decisive events of the Second World War