We are traveling from Belgium to the Normandy beaches and wonder if it is easier to hire a car or take a train. We also are interested in seeing Bruges and the area of Liege, Verviers in particular. Any suggestions?
The French rail system is extremely centralised and it can be very inconvenient to get from one region to another without going into Paris and out. You can get between Bruges and Verviers by train without much trouble. Using a rental car across borders can be very expensive, so I would suggest travelling in Belgium by train, getting a train from your last stop in Belgium to Lille, and then hiring a car in Lille to get to Normandy. You'll certainly need a car to see the WWII sites in Normandy unless you go on an organised tour.