Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Woke at 6am to catch the 7:30am train to Bayeux. It is cloudy.
We say au revoir to the nice people at the Hotel Ibis (nice room, comfy bed, but not enough electrical outlets for all our electronic gear). The walk to the train station is actually refreshing. We stopped at a bakery to get a baguette for the train. It will take four hours to get to Bayeux.
Bayeux is located in the region of Normandy. It is a small town with a few ancient buildings I don’t find this town as interesting as Dinan or Saint-Malo — but then, I haven’t seen much of this town yet. All the tourist traps do not help. So, why Bayeux? It’s the beaches, man! As in D-Day beaches!
Finding our hotel, Hotel Le Bayeux, from the train station proved to be a challenge. Apparently Bayeux is going through a face-lift. Sidewalks are torn up and a number of street signs appear to be missing. But my DH spoke to a couple of locals for directions and we eventually found the hotel. At least it was not raining.
The room is nice – blue walls, light wood floors, full-size bed, bath, and a skylight. Now we do not need to get up and go to a window to see the rain. Also, six electrical outlets!
Immediately my DH connects to the hotel WiFi and orders me two new batteries for my camera and an HDMI cable for the laptop from Amazon.com. They should arrive here at the hotel tomorrow. (Europe offers free one-day shipping even if one orders on Sunday (!) for Prime subscribers.)
Next, off to the Tourist Information office to get a guided tour of the D-Day Beaches. Pickings prove to be slim in that almost every tour for the next few days is booked! The “Band of Brothers” tour was all booked up until Friday, the same day we are scheduled to leave Bayeux. We settle for another tour that will cover all the high points – especially Utah and Omaha Beaches. Sorry, Easy Company – we tried. Needless to say, this was not our finest hour.
But, the sun came out and we made the best of the day. We shared an omelet and salad at Le Reine Mathilde. We also shared a slice of apple pie (the region of Normandy is known for its apples). All were delicious!
Another big thing here in Bayeux is the cathedral — Cathedrale Notre Dame de Bayeux. We took the 3:45pm guided tour including “private” rooms. The cathedral has a long history of construction and destruction. It is a mix of both Gothic and Norrish design. Craftsmen were not given a theme for its construction (other than to worship God, that is) and thus you find lots of fanciful and mystical carvings of dragons, birds, and people with deformities among the saints. It was an interesting tour.
After the cathedral, we went to see the other big attraction in Bayeux, the Bayeux Tapestry. The Bayeux Tapestry was found in the Cathedrale Notre Dame de Bayeux and is a 70 meter (that’s over 229 feet!) long piece of embroidery that graphically tells the story of the 1066 Battle of Hastings. This artifact is like the Holy Grail for anyone interested in needlework – that would be me. Once again, no photography was allowed in the museum, click on the link for more information if you are interested.
After the Bayeux Tapestry, we went back to the hotel to rest up before dinner. I worked on my blog, my HD took a nap. Around 10pm we went out for a crepe but all the crepe places were closed. Maybe there are still some butter cookies in the room?