Bienvenue aux voyageurs! Welcome to France!

This revision of a tour presented in 2013,is provided for the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day Landings. This tour adds in a trip to Pegasus Bridge, a key capture by British forces on the eve of the D-Day landings, Ouisterham, location of the first activities of D-Day and the location of a museum dedicated to the Atlantic Wall, and to a second location of landing east of Juno Beach.

We're pleased to be able to have you join us for a trip to Juno Beach. This is a trip made by a friend of the webmaster with some additions for these pages. We'll be leaving Paris and travelling by highway to Caen, Pegaus Bridge, and then on to Courseulles sur Mer where Juno Beach and the landings in Normandy on 6 June 1944 during WW II is located. This is a multipart travel log, showing a route and some sights along way, plus a tour of Juno Beach.

Later after the visit to Juno Beach, there is an optional tripm south of Caen Return to Paris.Once there, please enjoy the next trip which is to Vimy Ridge, and Yperes Belgium the scenes of Canadian courage against hostilies in WWI.

Let's get to the car and start the trip! Bonne Voyage!
 
En route photography resourced from Google Street View,Juno Beach locality pictures by Dave and isabelle Hayer (April 2013)
.. from Caen, we'll drive northwest to Courseuelles sur Mer and Juno Beach.
Let's start the trip! The map above shows the route taken (originally 2013, but Pegasus Bridge and Ouisterham have been added to the tour.
Orientation. D-Day was of course the combined efforts of Canadian, British and U.S. forces. From west to east, UTAH, OMAHA (landed by U.S. Forces), GOLD (British) JUNO (Canadian) and SWORD (British) were a part of Operation Neptune. The entire operation including ground activites was Operation Overlord. The landings originated from staging areas in Portmouth UK.
The western portion of D-Day showing UTAH and OMAHA beaches.
The eastern portion of D-Day showing GOLD, JUNO and SWORD beaches with the first assult at Pegasus Bridge between Benouville and Ranville northeast of Caen.
We'll be starting close to one of Paris' most famous landmarks! All set? Pull out..!
A right turn at the Effiel Tower to drive west to the A13 autoroute that goes to Caen. But first a hop slightly northeast to the Arc de Triomphe for the commemoration there
Arrival: The Queen is greeted by the French President as she arrives at the Arc de Triomphe, while French civilians line the streets to welcome the British monarch (Daily Mail UK)
Royal visit: The Queen and Francois Hollande attend a ceremony at the grave of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris June 5th. (Daily Mail UK)
France's President Francois Hollande, centre left, and Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, centre right, lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris 5 June (Daily Mail UK)
March: Soldiers and police officers on motorbikes escort the car carrying the British Monarch and the French President as it drives down the Champs-Elysees avenue (Daily Mail UK)
Police escort: The Queen and her husband Prince Philip are in France for a three-day state visit to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Above, police escort Her Majesty and France's President Francois Hollande down the Champs Elysees avenue after a wreath laying ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on 5 June (Daily Mail UK)
Move your mouse over this Michelin map of Paris to see the route through the city.
Back window view of one of Paris' famous landmarks.
Crossing the River Seine , the autoroute is just on the other side.
A change in route. The original route to Caen set in 2013 is in pale blue, the route to Pegasus
Bridge with a return to the A13 motorway in Caen has been added.
A turn here to head northwest towards Ranville and Pegasus Bridge.
A dog leg turn here. Turn left then right.
"Horsa Bridge" (east of the Pegasus Bridge) was also taken during the Pegasus Bridge operation. The River Orne. The British paratroopers landed on the island to begin their assult against the German forces stationed here.
Pegasus Bridge ahead, the museum on the right.
The very first assult against the Germans occurred here.

On the night of 5 June 1944, 181 men, led by Major John Howard, took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton in Dorset, in six Horsa gliders in a bid to capture Bénouville Bridge in northern France. It was the first strategic target of Operation Deadstick, the codename for the airborne part of the Normandy landings. The objective of the dangerous mission was to prevent German armoured vehicles from crossing the bridges and attacking the thousands of troops who were landing at Sword Beach the morning after. Just after midnight, the battalion landed yards away from the bridge and set up their defences, ready for the onslaught by Hitler's forces. The attackers poured out of their battered gliders, completely surprising the German defenders, and took the bridge within 10 minutes. They lost two men in the process, Lieutenant Den Brotheridge and Lance-Corporal Fred Greenhalgh. Most of the soldiers in this glider moved through German lines towards the village of Ranville where they eventually re-joined British forces already stationed in the north of the country. After the sucessful operation, the crossing was renamed Pegasus Bridge, derived from the emblem worn by British soldiers during the assault.
Pegasus Bridge before it was replaced in 1994 with the current structure. The original was lifted
out and placed in a new museum location.
Pegasus Bridge in its new home. The structure is still operable.
Gathering: A remembrance ceremony is held at Pegasus Bridge memorial. The structure was one of the first objectives of Operation Deadlock. British troops were instructed to take the bridge intact (Daily Mail UK)
Royal salute: The Prince of Wales stands at the Glider Pilot Regiment Memorial at Pegasus Bridge, the sight of the first assault during the 'Longest Day' in 1944 (Daily Mail UK) The current bridge can be seen in the background.
1944 Pictures of the capture of Pegasus Bridge. A British Horsa Glider can be seen. This view is
from east to west..
Flypast: A Lancaster Bomber (left) and a Spitfire (right) soar over the Peagusus Bridge in Benouville, Normandy, France, as part of the 70th anniversary D-Day commemorations on both sides of the channel (Daily Mail UK)
Flying: Prince Charles stands and watches as as a parachute regiment drops over northern France (Daily Mail UK)
Retracing his moves: The Scottish veteran performed a tandem jump with the Red Devils onto the same field near Ranville, Northern France, he landed on in 1944 (Daily Mail UK)
Helped to his feet: When Mr Hutton landed, unscathed, he told Sky News: 'They (tandem team) make you feel very relaxed, but I really wanted to get out of that door' (Daily Mail UK)
Making the leap: Seventy years ago, Jock Hutton, now 89, jumped out of a plane and prepared himself for the German onslaught in the fields and towns of Normandy. Today, he returned to repeat the drop to commemorate the greatest military invasion in history. Above, Mr Hutton is pictured with Prince Charles following the jump (Daily Mail UK)
Satellite view oriented towards true north. The Pegasus Museum features the bridge, glider and stationary motorized equipment.
Red berets: A group of veterans are escorted by servicemen away from Pegasus Bridge. One adjusts his tie while holding on to his walking stick (Daily Mail UK)
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall walk alongside a military officer during a visit to Benouville, northern France. The area was one of the first entered by Allied troops after the Normandy landings (Daily Mail UK)
Members of the Canadian Armed Forces returned here as part of the 70th Anniversary Commemoration of D-Day..
Sergeant Tyler Baldwin and Corporal Liam Talty stand in front of the Pegasus Bridge in Normandy during 70th Anniversary of D-Day festivities on June 3, 2014. Photo: Sgt Bern LeBlanc, Canadian Army Public Affairs
Canal Orne and new Pegasus Bridge. It is similar in basic design to the original, it being a single leaf Bascule Bridge.
It crosses canal for small to medium draft boats that sail to Caen, south (to the left) of here.
Crowd: Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall meet onlookers as they walk along Peagusus Bridge on the way to Cafe Gondree, the first building liberated in Nazi-occupied France (Daily Mail UK)
Support: A veteran is helped across Pegasus Bridge, also known as the Benouville Bridge, during D-Day commemorations. The taking of the bridge was a major strategic victory during the invasion (Daily Mail UK)
Cafe Gondree, the first building in Nazi-occupied France to be liberated in 1944, one of the crucial steps towards Allied victory in the Second World War.
West end of the crossing looking west
Ceremony: Pipers march past the cafe during the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The landings saw 156,000 allied troops launch an attack on the beaches of Normandy (Daily Mail UK)
Commemoration: Soldiers on a vintage jeep drive past Cafe Gondree, the Pegasus Bridge Cafe in Ranville, the first house in France to be liberated during the last hour of June 5 1944 (Daily Mail UK)
The real start of D-Day: AT 12.16am on June 6 1944 men landed in France to take Pegasus Bridge, which was lit up with fireworks to mark the moment it was taken (Daily Mail UK)
A back window look at the current Pegasus Bridge. The D-Day action was featured in a Hollywood movie
about D-Day "The Longest Day", with a U.S. focus showing British efforts, but irritatingly the movie
never showed the Canadian contributions to D-Day at JUNO Beach.
 
A back window look towards Pegasus Bridge

A drive west towards the D515 highway heading south to reach the A13 motorway for the short trip north to Ouistreham

Ouistreham, Ahead is the ferry landing for the cruise-ferry route to Portsmouth UK. The route sails daily with an overnight schedule.
The ships are bigger than BC Ferries and are of the more common European configuration, a blend of cruise ship and motor vehicle ferry.
The Atlantic Wall Museum. Itr is dedicated to preserving the German HQ and has artifacts from the occupation and invasion.
Near here, just a few blocks north is the eastern end of SWORD beach. on June 6, 2014 a spectacular event attended by HRH Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip together with Prime Minister Harper and many European heads of State.
Unity: The Queen walks alongside her husband The Duke of Edinburgh and Francois Hollande. Around 29,000 Allied troops landed on Sword Beach on June 6 1944 (Daily Mail UK)
Spectacle: Dancers perform a routine representing the events of the Second World War while fireworks are set off in the background (Daily Mail (UK)
Putting on a show: Artists perform in front of fireworks during the international D-Day commemoration ceremony in Ouistreham, in Normandy (Daily Mail UK)
After HM Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillp departs, we shall depart ourselves and travel to Caen to continue the rest of the tour.
South to Caen
Road crossing ahead provides access to Ranville and our previous stop, Pegasus Bridge.
Onto the A13 motorway east to Caen's central area. From here the original tour continues following a northwest route to Juno Beach.
After the autoroute drive from Paris to here in Caen, we leave the autoroute and start our drive northwest towards Courseulles Sur Mer.
We'll leave the main route here to see where the Canadians made it as of midnight 6 June 1944.
Route from Caen to Ainsy.
Aninsy was a location reached by Canadians as of midnight 6 June 1944 after arriving on the beach
at 7 AM.
This monument was found during this virtual tour. A memorial to the Canadians who arrived here
on 6 June. This entire area saw intensive fighting, far more removed from the tranquility you see here today.
 
This military map shows the extent of Canadian efforts on 6 June 1944. The dotted line near Ainsy marks the Canadian front line as
of midnight 6 June 1944. As you can see, they reached Anisy in the late hours of 6 June 1944.
Click on the sign to go to the next page and Juno Beach and the Canadian interpretive centre located there.
(c) 2012 78th Fraser Highlanders Fort Fraser Garrison, 1st Signal Corps.