I went to Normandy once and I’ve had a few people ask me about it so here’s the breakdown, sorta. I didn’t do a whole lot of planning and just tagged along and threw money at the problem (logistics) and everyone crushed it (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). So here’s how I did it. Kinda detailed because of questions I’ve received.
Tuesday – June 2
Left DFW – 15:00
We got there a day early so we could drive and make sure we got bricks/weight and to make the 3 hour drive out from Paris to Normandy (Omaha Beach). When you fly to France from the States you lose like 9 hours of your day.
Wednesday: June 3
Arrived CDG – 07:30
Pick up bricks at local Home Depot/Lowes thing
Drive to Normandy
Arrive at team house
Buy alcohols and maybe food
Thursday: June 4
Prep for Heavy
Get crushed by Heavy
Friday: June 5
Drive far as hell for Challenge
Freeze our asses off
Saturday: June 6
Prep for Light – this involves beer
Walk with hand in crotch due to chafing
Win HCL battle
Walk with hand in crotch due to chafing
Lost to HCL after all
I had a non-stop on AA from Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport to Charles De Gaulle International Airport DFW to CDG (flight for me was ~$1400 because I am dumb but people were spending 7-1700 from various locales. Maybe try flying to the East Coast and then hopping a second flight to Europe). You can also use sites like yapta.com or kayak to track fares and see how they go.
It was like a 9.5 hour flight and I thought it would never end. Kind of like my first Challenge.
Luckily CDG has free wifi so when you land so you can FB messenger all your peeps to try to link up when you land. Also reboot your phone to get some sweet, sweet EuroCellularNetworks. Make sure you figure out where the hell the car pickup counter is and not the parking lot. I walked by that sumbitch like 5 times trying to find it.
Luckily for all involved I wasn’t involved in this step.
Train – there’s a train from Paris to Caen/Bayeux but you still need a ride to get from your place to the start point and it’s not like there are a ton of taxis/uber there in the small village. Plus you have to parlez you some Français and do you really want to? Nope. I recommend the rental car.
Car – we took a car and Stacy and Sonia drove us. There were also tolls we had to pay in crazy Euro money. Car + fuel + tolls came out to be like $50 in moon money round trip.
NOTE: lots of shops close down at 8 or 9pm and no shit it doesn’t get dark there until 22:30 or so. We drank all evening and were like “wtf it’s 22:30” when the sun finally went down. Thanks, high latitude and earth’s axial tilt!
We had a rental house in Sainte-Honorine-des-Pertes, France (7.8KM from house to Heavy/Light Start Point – Omaha Beach D-Day Monument). I believe ChriguTough was responsible for booking this. One thing I must stress is that you have wifi at your place of lodging or you’ll have to talk to your roommates or something. We also had about 10 people and it ended up being party central.
We had shadows (James and Sonia) who stayed and cooked us meals between events, took pics and were all around bad asses. They drove between events and town. I would’ve been so lost and probably would’ve died TBH.
For food and alcohol, someone bought a bunch of it and made it and we all chipped in. Also, stores close early plus you have to navigate there and it’s all weird and like, foreign.
I got the international plan through AT&T for $30/120mb. International calls were Free with that I think. Other people did some James Bond shit and bought a burner phone or secondary SIM and swapped it out. Shit wasn’t happening with the iPhone.
Bring your own pain meds – tylenol and an advil or whatever flavor nsaid works for you. They don’t sell that in grocery stores as you have to go to a separate pharmacy for the meds. Plus, I don’t know what hours they are open.
In all I spent about ~$3,000 (half of flight, lots of it in Paris on beer and an amazing meal) and then I went to Brussels. Some went for just the H/C/L or HCL and then hightailed it out of there as soon as it was over. Some people went traipsing across Europe for a week or two before they got there and others did the event first and toured Europe second. Either way, amazing trip and fun time and I met some cool people but I don’t know if they thought I was cool. Whatever. Let me know if you have questions and shit, here or on the facebooks or twitter if you’re into that.