Heritage tours of the submarine base

Discover the story of Lorient, a Town of Art and History… …with a guide appointed by the ministry of culture and communication. base lorientThe guide welcomes you. He/she knows all the facets of Lorient and provides the key details of each place, so that you can better understand the development of the city and its districts. Your guide is at your service. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have. The Architecture and Cultural Heritage Office, which coordinates Continue reading

WHAT IS A DESTINATION MANAGEMENT COMPANY ?

A Destination Management Company is defined by the Association of Destination Management Executives as “a professional services company possessing extensive local knowledge, expertise and ressources, specializing in the design and full implementation of events, activities, tours, transportation and programmes logistics.” If required, a DMC can make reservations for villas, resorts, hotels, provide travel management, guides and hostesses.

The keywords when working with a DMC are customized and specialized. They act as local partners for group and event organizers, receptive agents for travel agents, tour operators, cruise lines and tour and airline charter operators. Today, irrespective of their definition, destination management is a major industry generating millions of dollars worldwide and employing thousands of people.

“BLB TOURISME” Incoming Tour Operator is your travel partner in western France !

  • CRUISE DEPARTMENT : ORGANISATION OF SHORE EXCURSIONS FOR CRUISE LINERS ON THE FRENCH ATLANTIC AND CHANNEL COAST

Shore excursions and land arrangements / France – North Western Coast

BLB Tourisme handles all ground arrangements for International Cruise Industry in NORTHWESTERN FRANCE.With more than 16 year experience, we are THE French travel partner you can rely on!

We provide all the services you need: a wide range of classical shore excursions, tailor-made tours, creative thematic trails, or exciting walking experiences as well as suitable transfers or turnarounds.

Our rigorous selection of suppliers and the leading of our group tours by our own escorts guarantee the follow up of our production.

Wherever you call in the English Channel or in the northern Atlantic, contact our professional team and enjoy our warm welcome, availability, creativity and quality.

CONTACT US :

+ 33 ( 0 ) 297 56 67 33 (Cruises Dpt Direct)
+ 33 ( 0 ) 297 56 30 68 (Fax)

  • FRANCE DMCORGANISATION OF STAYS AND TOURING HOLIDAYS IN FRANCE

Your incoming tour operator in Brittany, Normandy and Loire Valley

As a group or individually enjoy our “tailor made” programms including one or several themes available : discovery, culture, gastronomy (with cooking lessons), relaxation or health (spa), religion (pilgrimage), sport (golf, sailing or hiking tours,)…

Contact our professional team and enjoy our warm welcome, availability, creativity and quality.

Our tailor-made packages include all the musts of Western France as well as unexpected treasures of our regions.

With a 16 year experience
BLB Tourisme is THE French travel partner
to get away from it all !

Booking & Information : 00 33 2 97 56 60 86

Click HERE to discover our website !

BLB TOURISME / NORMANDY TOUR PROGRAMS

Normandy : where the landscapes were sculpted by the sea and History

Mont-Saint-Michel, Cherbourg and the Cotentin, Rouen, Giverny, Etretat, Calvados, Honfleur, D-Day Landings, Tapestry of Bayeux, Lisieux and so on ! Discover our tours through Normandy : – The “Impressionist stay” leads you to the original sites that inspired Monet and his friends. – An excursion through theromantic countryside of Normandy: green orchards and lovely half-timbered houses, calvados and famous cheeses… – The William the Conqueror Tour to learn about this King who strongly marked the Norman character

BLB Tourisme provides all the services you need:

  • Coach transfers, rental cars or private cars with driver
  • Guided sightseeing tours, escorts and assistance
  • Thematic gourmet trails and tastings
  • Entrance fees for museums, gardens, leisure parks or exhibition centers
  • Traditional, thematic or gourmet restaurants,
  • Exhilarating evenings,
  • Comfortable accommodation.

The rigorous selection of BLB Tourisme suppliers and the leading of our group tours by our own escorts guarantee the follow up of our production Discover our website : http://www.blb-tourisme.com/

LANDING BEACHES / UNESCO

THE INITIATIVE TO LIST THE NORMANDY LANDING BEACHES AS A WORLD HERITAGE SITE

Insérer logo Unesco World Heritage

Insérer photo plage (Omaha Beach)

Citer la source : http://liberte-normandie.com/index.php/fr/

  • The objectives of this initiative are to:

Objective n°1 : Gain recognition for the values embodied by this remembrance site: liberty, democracy, peace, reconciliation

Objective n°2 : Consolidate the preservation of this special area, the protection of which began in 1945– this objective will result in the implementation of a management plan

Objective n°3 : Give an impetus to the territory and unite remembrance tourism stakeholders based on an ambitious project designed to boost regional attractivenes

Objective n°4 :Enhance the worldwide opening of this memorial site

  • Outstanding Universal Value

« Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today and what we pass on to future generations. »

« World heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. »

  • Beaches : symbolic sites

The Normandy region was severely hit and affected by this significant event in World War Two. The D-Day Landing Beaches serve as a reminder of this event and still bear the scars left by the intensity of the fighting. These now peaceful landscapes will soon be the only surviving witnesses of this day which remains engraved in memories.

  • The candidacy for the Unesco World Heritage Committee

The inscription request is a 2 stage-process:

1. Inscription on the national tentative list : Only the States (States parties to the convention) can propose properties to UNESCO for inscription on the World Heritage List. For this purpose, the World Heritage Committee asks every State to send a tentative list of the properties they wish to propose for inscription in the years to come; inscription on the national tentative list is therefore a prerequisite.

2. Submission of the application : The application is presented to the national Committee, which assesses its admissibility and submits it to UNESCO. UNESCO renders a decision 18 months later at the earliest, following an appraisal.

  • What is Unesco ?

« The United Nations educational, scientific and cultural organisation (UNESCO) was created on  16/11/1945. For this specialised United Nations agency, what matters most is not to build classrooms in devastated countries or restore World Heritage sites.

The Organisation has a vast and ambitious objective:
building peace in the minds of men and women
through education, science, culture and communication. »

Discover Unesco’s website
www.unesco.org

  • Discover the properties included in the Basse-Normandie Region :

Mont-Saint-Michel (insérer une photo)

Vauban sites : St-Vaast-La-Hougue (insérer une photo)

BLB TOURISME / D-DAY TOUR PROGRAMS

  • Stopping just one day on a cruise call, in Cherbourg or Honfleur ?

TRAVEL AGENCY “BLB TOURISME” Cruise Department provides all the services you need: a wide range of classical and original shore excursions, tailor-made tours, creative thematic trails, or exciting walking experiences as well as suitable transfers or turnarounds.

AMERICAN CEMETERY & OMAHA BEACH / Half-day tour

Board your private car or coach, head to Colleville-sur-mer and stop at the American Cemetery where more than 9,000 marble crosses stand aligned in an impressive site overlooking Omaha Beach. A memorial, inscribed with a map of the operation, and preceded by a pool stands in the central alley surrounded by trees. At the end of the afternoon, don’t miss the ceremony of the Lowering of the Colours. To the sound of a military hymn, the American flag is lowered and folded. The American cemetery is the biggest, the most well known and the most moving of the Normandy Landing cemeteries.

SAINTE-MÈRE-EGLISE & UTAH BEACH / Half-day tour

Departure from Cherbourg or Honfleur and drive to Sainte-Mère-Eglise via direct road. Located in the middle of the traditional Normandy livestock breeding area, this town brutally entered the news headlines on the night of 5-6 June 1944, the night when the American 82nd Airborne Division troops landed. Sainte-Mère-Eglise was liberated on 6th June. Guided visit of the village: just in front of the town hall, you will see the 0 Milestone, symbolising the start of the Road of Freedom. Inside the church, a modern stained-glass window features the American parachute drop. The tour continues by driving to Sainte-Marie-du-Mont and then a scenic drive along Utah Beach with a stop en route at Crisbecq Batteries. This site, erected in 1941 by the Todt Organisation, was one of the most powerful batteries in this sector. Drive back directly to your port of call.

NORMANDY LANDINGS / Full-day tour

Enjoy a full day excursion to the most  important locations involved in the historic events of  1944. Leaving your port of call, begin this memorable journey with a drive to Arromanches via the landing beaches Sword, Juno and Gold.

Operation Overlord, as the D-Day landings were code-named, involved the largest military operation in history. In the early morning of June 6th, swarms of ALlied landing craft hit the Normandy beaches and tens of thousands of soldiers stormed ashore, ready to attack the German lines.

Arromanches Invasion Museum. The small seaside town of Arromanches features an important museum dedicated to the Landing operation. During your visit, view models and films that re-create the entire operation along the D-Day beaches, as well as illustrate the importance and logistics of Port Winston. A short distance off shore, remnants of the artificial port can still be seen. These war relics are a testimonial to an extraordinary industrial and maritime achievement.

Lunch in a Norman castle. Following your visit, you will proceed to an 18th century castle located near Omaha Beach, where a two-course lunch with wine will be served.

American Cemetery. After lunch, continue driving to Colleville, site of the American Cemetery. The majority of the nearly 10.000 Americans killed at Omaha Beach are buried in this 170-acre cemetery on land given to the United States by France as a token of their gratitude. Here 9.386 marble crosses and Stars of david stand in perfect alignment on a plateau above the beach. A Memorial contains the Tablets of the Missing, and a map outlines the battle sites of the Normandy Beaches. Return directly to the ship in your port of call.

  • Staying 1, 2, 3 days or more in Normandy ?

BLB TOURISME France DMC organises your stays and touring holidays in Normandy. As a group or individually, enjoy our “tailor made” programs. Contact our professional team and enjoy our warm welcome, availability, creativity and quality. Our tailor-made packages include all the musts  as well as unexpected treasures of Western France and especially Normandy.

A DAY ON THE ALLIED TROOPS STEPS / Full-day tour

To understand everything about the D-Day in Normandy

Our tour will first lead you to two historical sites – taken in the night from March 5 to 6 – that were essential to the success of the D-Day. In Benouville, the first one is the very famous Pegasus Bridge freed by Major John Howard and his 6D British Airborne Commando. Your guide will tell you all about the incredible achievement done by these men piloting the first gliders in History. Then you will reach the Pointe du Hoc: strategical site celebrating the ranger’s heroical fighting to destroy all kinds of German defense above the beaches.

Then you will head towards Omaha Beach “the bloody one” where you will envision the German defense organization. A stop at the American churchyard of Colleville-sur-mer before continuation to Longues-sur-mer : this step will give you the opportunity to see the infamous Atlantic Wall.

Free lunch in Arromanches, small seaside resort keeping the remains of the Mulberry artificial harbor.

In the afternoon, visit of the D-Day Museum: you will understand thanks to the very clear model-replicas the importance of this artificial harbor, definitely one of the most extraordinary industrial and marine feat of WWII. Gold and Juno Beach on the way back. A short stop at Courseulles-sur-mer, to give you some time to salute the Lorraine cross commemorationg General De Gaulle landing.

Then drive back to your departing spot.

IN THE STEPS OF PRIVATE RYAN / Full-day tour

Arrive in Caen in the morning, welcome by your guide. Drive to Sainte-Mère-Eglise through the marshes, pause café and visit the new Utah Beach D-Day Museum.Built on the very beach where the first American troops landed on June 6, 1944,it recounts the story of D-Day in 10 sequences, from the preparation of the landing, to the final outcome and success. This comprehensive chronological journey immerses you in the history of the landing through a rich collection of objects, vehicles, materials, and oral histories. Lunch in Utah Beach. Visit Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery. End of the tour by the end of the afternoon.

MARINE ASSAULT OPERATION / 3-day tour

DAY 1 : MEMORIAL OF CAEN

Arrival in Caen : Sightseeing tour towards the town to admire the monuments built by William the Conqueror : the castle, Men Abbey and Women Abbey, all miraculously spared by the bombings of allied troops. Stopover and visit of the Memorial Museum : an overview of the History since 1918 to understand how the operations of the Landing in Normandy were made possible. Transfer to your hotel. Welcoming aperitif. Dinner and accomodation.

DAY 2 : LANDING BEACHES / AMERICAN ZONE

Visit of Saint-Mère-Eglise, first village to be delivered in France, followed by a commemorative stroll on Utah Beach. Located in the middle of the traditional Normandy livestock breeding area, the region entered the news headlines on the night of 5-6 June 1944; the night when the American 82nd Airborne Division troops landed. Lunch time. In the afternoon, discovery of the Pointe du Hoc, strategic site overlooking bloody Omaha Beach, immortalized by the movie “Saving Private Ryan”. Afetrwards, contemplation at the American Cemetery of Colleville-sur-mer. Dinner and accomodation.

DAY 3 : ARROMANCHES AND THE ANGLO-CANADIAN ZONE

First you will depart towards Arromanches to evoke the operation “Mulberry Port”, an extraordinary industrial and maritime prowess, guaranteeing the ultimate vistory. In Courseulles-sur-mer, hail the Cross of Lorraine marking the landing of General de Gaulle and then join the well-known “Pegasus Bridge” freed by British gliders. Lunch time. return to your region.

AFTER THE BATTLE… / 4-day tour (including visits, transport, lunch, dinner and accomodation)

DAY 1 : Arrive in Caen in the end of the morning. Lunch in Caen. Visit of Caen, skilfully rebuilt after WWII.

DAY 2 : Departure to Bayeux and visit of the Bayeux Tapestry and the cathedral in the morning. Lunch in Bayeux. Visit of the “Musée Mémorial de la Bataille de Normandie” and Bayeux old center.

DAY 3 : Departure to the “Côte Fleurie“. Visit Honfleur, view on the Normandy Bridge. Coastal road to Deauville and Trouville. Lunch on the port in Trouville. Costal road to the Orne Estuary. Visit Pegasus Bridge. Visit the Great Bunker in Ouistreham. Return to the hotel for dinner. After dinner : evening walk with your guide in the old streets of Caen.

DAY 4 : Visit the Memorial de Caen “A museum for Peace”. Lunch at the Memorial. Deaprture from Caen after lunch.

End of our services.

Information : Please contact us to organize commemorative ceremonies and lay a floral spray.

BLB Tourisme provides all the services you need:

  • Coach transfers, rental cars or private cars with driver
  • Guided sightseeing tours, escorts and assistance
  • Thematic gourmet trails and tastings
  • Entrance fees for museums, gardens, leisure parks or exhibition centers
  • Traditional, thematic or gourmet restaurants,
  • Exhilarating evenings,
  • Comfortable accommodation.

The rigorous selection of BLB Tourisme suppliers and the leading of our group tours by our own escorts guarantee the follow up of our production

REMEMBRANCE TOURISM

What is remembrance tourism? 

Insérer photo Mémorial de Caen

Also called Heritage tourism, “Remembrance tourism focuses on emblematic historic sites, particularly those of major conflicts.” (Deperne, 2006).  Remembrance tourism is a testimony of a people’s history.  It aims at recalling those moments we would rather forget, but that we must not, in order to retain lessons from the past.

“Remembrance tourism is first and foremost a means to save and establish an identity, a cultural identity; it is unquestionably a vector of citizenship.” (Deperne, 2006)

Here is an example of remembrance tourism site : the Caen Memorial Peace Museum in Caen.

The Caen Memorial is a museum which focuses on the history of the 20th Century.  This Peace Museum proposes an historic journey and reflection about the future through three spaces:  the Second World War, the Cold War and Peace.  The Caen Memorial also aims to remind us of the fragility of the peace and of the requirements for peace and human rights. Beyond its role concerning memory, in some cases, remembrance tourism is also a leverage for local development.

http://normandy.memorial-caen.com/

Although we often associate tourism to hedonism, such sites allow us to truly discover a people’s culture, its history, its suffering, its memories.  So that they are not forgotten. So we can retain lessons from the past.  It is nevertheless important to keep a critical judgement on the facts. History is seen through the eyes of those who tell it.  One people’s heroic acts are often accompanied by the suffering of others.

Reference : Ines Lopes, Equimondo

VISIT NORMANDY !

Normandy has a very rich tourist offer.

Video :”Love the land, live the life” (CRT Normandie) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNZoCNO_9HQ

With its 350 miles of coastline and richly varied regions, Normandy gives the visitor a wonderful
choice of landscapes, scenery and culture : the stunning beauty of the cliffs at Etretat or the long
sandy beaches, steeped in history, from Caen to Arromanches, the Seine Valley winding between
wooded hills and chalk escarpments and the patchwork of fields and hedges of the Calvados region with its orchards and timber-framed cottages.

Here is a selection of Normandy’s must-sees…

Marvelous religious buildings

Insérer photo Abbaye aux Hommes (ou autre monument religieux cité ci-dessous)

Difficult not to marvel at the splendour of the religious buildings scattered throughout Normandy

Amongst many others, Rouen cathedral, the basilica of Lisieux, numerous abbeys (Saint-Wandrille, Bec-Hellouin, the ‘Abbaye aux Hommes’ and ‘Abbaye aux Dames’ in Caen, Jumièges, and Mont-Saint-Michel Abbey…)

Somptuous castles and manor houses

Insérer photo Château de Caen (ou autre château cité ci-dessous)

William the Conqueror, Richard Lionheart, Henry IV, Chateaubriand, Guy de Maupassant… All these illustrious personalities have one thing in common: they either built or inhabited one of the magnificent castles or stately homes found in Normandy. Let yourself be stunned by the huge ducal castle in Caen, the prestigious Château du Champ de Bataille, and the breathtakingly high castle Château-Gaillard overhanging the river Seine.

Various museums

Insérer photo Giverny

Normandy’s museums offer visitors the chance to explore the cultural heritage and history of the region. Paintings, sculptures, historic remains, traditions and old skills are also represented and provide a number of interesting cultural halts. Don’t miss the Bayeux Tapestry, a unique document, listed as a “Memory of the World” by Unesco, and Giverny, the property of the most famous impressionist painter, Claude Monet.

Lush parks and gardens

Insérer photo Jardin de Vauville (ou autre jardin cité ci-dessous)

Refresh your spirit amid the beautiful parks and gardens… The climate in Normandy provides for incredibly varied and luxuriant vegetation. The parks and gardens of Normandy are also known for their quality: French style gardens alongside exotic gardens, vegetable gardens and arboretums providing a symphony of colors and scents.

Find a selection of parks & gardens : Giverny, Bois des Moutiers in Varengeville,  Château de Miromesnil near Dieppe, Château de Bosmelet, Château de Miromesnil, Château du Champ de Bataille, Botanical Gardens in Caen, Botanical Garden of the Château de Vauville (outstandiing !)

Site du Bégo at Plouharnel

11bisIt’s a German battery constituted by 180 reinforced concrete elements hidden by the dunes.

It was built during World War II as part of the Atlantic Wall. The aim of this fortification was to protect Lorient’s harbor and the German submarines established at Lorient.

The construction of this site began in 1941 and lasted 2 years. 2000 people worked on it, among them local people, foreigners and prisoners from Continue reading

Lorient

Lorient had a strategic role in the Battle of Atlantic during World War II. From 1940, Admiral Dönitz, Commander-in-Chief of the navy decided to base some German submarines in French ports including Lorient.

In June 1940, 1500 workers took part in the construction of a submarine base in the southern part of the town in order to protect the German submarines from English air bombings. Indeed, the base was reputed indestructible. That’s why many bombings transformed the town in a vast field of ruins: Lorient was four-fifths destroyed because of heavy air attacks in January and February 1943.

During the American relief of Brittany in August 1944, the German army established in Lorient, entrenched itself in a “pocket” which included Lorient, the Laïta banks, Guidel, Gestel, Hennebont, Kervignac, Port-Louis, Etel’s river, Quiberon Peninsula, Groix, Belle-Ile and Hoedic. Germans occupied the submarine base in order to prevent the Allied to use it as a logistics base. From 1942, Hitler ordered to Continue reading

Resistance in Brittany

In order to ensure the success of the landing in Normandy, it was very important to slow down the coming of German reinforcements in Norman beaches. 10 000 German were present in Brittany.
Geographic situation of Brittany is ideal thanks to the proximity with England and allowed the repatriation of French and English forces across the English Channel.

From the beginning of the war, Bretons did not accept to be under German occupation. That’s why in the days after the Appeal of General de Gaulle (the origin of French resistance), many ships left Breton harbours to reach England and be part of the Free French Forces. On June 26th, 127 men left the île de Sein.

Acts of sabotage were important characteristic of resistance in Brittany. The aim was to put Germans in

Afin d’assurer le succès du Débarquement en Normandie, il faut à tout prix ralentir l’envoi de renforts allemands sur les plages de Normandie. Or 150 000 soldats allemands sont présents en Bretagne.

La situation de la Bretagne est idéale. En effet, la proximité géographique avec l’Angleterre a permis le rapatriement de forces françaises et anglaises outre-manche.

Dès le début de la guerre, les bretons n’acceptent pas l’idée d’une France occupée. C’est pourquoi, au lendemain de l’appel du Général de Gaulle (le 18 juin 1940), de nombreuses embarcations quittent les ports bretons en direction de l’Angleterre. Le 26 juin 1940, 127 hommes âgés de 14 à 54 ans quittent l’Ile de Sein.

Les actes de sabotage sont également une caractéristique importante de la Résistance en Bretagne. Le but est de mettre les Allemands en difficulté dans la région. A la fin de l’année 1943, on comptait 63 coupures de lignes téléphoniques. Les attentats contre les soldats allemands étaient également importants. En 1943, 31 attentats ont eu lieu dans le Finistère.

On ne peut pas parler de Résistance sans évoquer le maquis de Saint-Marcel. Il s’agit d’un petit bourg dans le Morbihan situé à proximité de Vannes, Ploërmel et Malestroit. Il est rapidement devenu l’un des plus importants maquis des Forces Françaises Libres de Bretagne et a accueillis jusqu’à 2500 résistants. C’est une ferme située à proximité d’une dropping zone établis par les Alliés qui servira de point de ralliement. En 1944, le Conseil National de la Résistance donne la mission aux résistants de la région de détruire les lignes téléphoniques, voies ferrées et également de mettre en place des opérations de guérrillas. Pour leurs missions, les résistants bénéficieront de l’aide des parachutistes de la France libre.

Le 18 juin 1944, Résistants et forces allemandes se sont affrontés. Les pertes allemandes y étaient plus importantes les pertes dans les rangs de la résistance. A la tombée de la nuit, les combats stoppent et les résistants prennent la décision de se disperser et d’abandonner le camp.
La répression Allemande est sévère. En effet, de nombreuses exécutions auront lieu. C’est le cas, par exemple à Port-Louis où 69 résistants ont été exécutés.

On peut également citer le Fort de Penthièvre, transformé en geôle et lieu d’exécution durant la Seconde Guerre Mondiale. D’avril à juillet, 59 résistants y ont trouvés la mort.

Continue reading