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70th D-Day driving situation?

Chicago, IL
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11 posts
68 reviews
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70th D-Day driving situation?

I plan to visit the Utah Beach area for the d-day 70th anniversary in June.

I had planned to rent a car and drive around Normandy myself. Yes, I am naive and intrepid.

So far, the only place I have found for lodging is in Pirou.

Is it even practical to book there and drive across the point to Utah Beach?

Or should I just try to book at one of the chain hotels for the activities?

I want to do the IVY March that retraces the route the 90th division took from Utah Beach to Sainte Marie du Mont. Following that, I would plan to visit Periers, where the 90th division has a historian living.

Following that I would plan to visit the Metz area, but thought I could do that by train.

Any advice would be appreciated.

St Louet sur Vire...
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for Bayeux
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1. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

Pirou is a fine location. It won't take long to drive across the peninsular and traffic while only be busy immediately around towns like Arromanches, Bayeux and Ste Mere Eglise. Pirou is also well=placed for visiting Periers.

You will need to return to Paris to get a train to Metz.

Chicago, IL
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11 posts
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2. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

Thank you so much for your reply.

Yes, I will probably rent the car in Paris - but I'm investigating that as well. I am not sure I want to navigate Parisian traffic and parking!

Sydney, Australia
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for Train Travel
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3. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

Don't think of having a car while you are in Paris. Parking on the streets is a nightmare, and parking stations are expensive. Pick up a car as you leave Paris.

Smyrna, Tennessee
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4. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

Yes, we will be in Paris before and were able to secure accommodations in Bayeux for the celebrations. I would also not rent a car in Paris. We are going to take the train to Amiens and spend the night and then rent a car there and drive about 2 hours to Bayeux.

Bayeux, France
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for Bayeux, Basse-Normandie, Mont-Saint-Michel, Caen
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5. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

If you've found a place at Pirou, take it. There are no "chain" hotels near Utah beach and all hotels from Bayeux to Deauville are booked.

To do the march you'll probably have to park someway from the beach, but as you'll be doing the march that won't bother you.

Gouvix, France
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538 posts
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6. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

Don't worry about the driving here. On an intrepid scale of 1 to 10 it would rate a 2 to 3 at most.

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

Are any roads in the area closed during the D-Day week? We're staying in Bernieres-sur-Mer off Juno Beach between June 2-7, 2014 and have rented a car to get closer to the other sites, which appear to still be a good driving distance away. I've never been to Normandy--let alone on a D-Day anniversay--and have come across some info suggesting that main roads may be closed. Thanks for any insights!

Bayeux, France
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for Bayeux, Basse-Normandie, Mont-Saint-Michel, Caen
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8. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

In 2004 , the area from caen to isigny and from the coast to villers bocage was a restricted area needing a pass to get into. The road N13 from caen to bayeux was closed except for VIPs. But it was a Sunday so didn.t cause chaos. Next year 6 june is a friday. It.s my opinion that that is why they chose sword beach as the site for the big ceremony. It would logically be Juno beach .

If Bernieres is inside a restricted zone you will allready be in it on the morning of the 6th, but if you want to go out and back before the end of the day you'd need a pass. Details of what.s happening aren't available yet.

Chicago, IL
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9. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

I too had questions about the driving restrictions. We've given up on the idea of the march since my entire family will be along. We're staying in Pirou, were planning to go to the Utah Beach museum on the 6th; and go to Saint Lo on the 5th.

Sounds like we will have to park a good ways away from the Museum, do you think there will be buses from remote parking to Museum? I imagine it will be a logistical nightmare, but we'll drive there at 6Am if need be.

Gouvix, France
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10. Re: 70th D-Day driving situation?

You should get reasonably close to the Utah museum without too much problem. Its right down on the beach on a long (several miles) straight road along the coast with plant of parking, and easy walking.