A few years back we visited the amazing town of Arromanches in Normandy, France. During World War 2, a huge temporary harbour was constructed there over the course of a few days shortly after D-Day. Its an amazing sight to see.
The harbour was constructed from huge pre-made blocks. They were floated and towed across the English Channel, and then sunk into place in the bay at Arromanches. In the above pic you can see the main harbour way out to sea, with some of the blocks still in place, and then some of the ones on the beach that created jetties/road-ways for equipment to be taken ashore.
The pic above shows one of the large sections which has been washed up on the beach - its colossal. And to think there were hundreds of these constructed and towed over and put into place in just a few days. The Normandy landings started on the 6th of June 1944 (D-day), and the harbour was commissioned on the 14th of June - just 8 days later !!!
The piece above is numbered 449 ! So it begins to give us an idea of how many there were. The construction was necessary to allow large supplies of equipment to be landed ashore to help with the war effort and establish a presence in France, hence it was imperative that it could be operational as soon as possible.
A large number of the blocks are still present, and I guess the rest are under the surface of the sea now. Its actually quite hard to describe just how large an undertaking it must have been without seeing it with your own eyes. The outer wall is quite far out to sea and stretches right across the bay.
We took a picture of my daughter pulling them into place ! But the picture does show how far out they are !
The pic above provides good perspective again. Thats the same piece washed ashore, and you can see other remnants way out to sea.
There are also still remains of the fortifications that overlooked the beach, up on the cliffs. The one above took a battering !
And the pic above was taken from near that fortification, and you can see it had a great vantage point over the beach.
While up on the cliff, we also spotted these great circles that someone had drawn in the sand - quite impressive !
It must have been one heck of a feat to organise the construction and logistics for this - it really is quite incredible how they managed it in such a short stretch of time.
The town itself is also worth visiting. It was very busy when we were there with tourists visiting the beach. I have to say that it is one of the most incredible places I've ever seen. I've been 2 times now, and would go back again to see it all.
And above is another shot of my daughter showing how big the one washed up on the beach is !
Well it really is an incredible sight to see. And something I would certainly recommend ! There are also many other lovely things to see in Normandy, it really is a great destination for a vacation - so much to see and do !