What a lovely day today.
Danielle our hostess had organised two friends with cars and trailers to take us over to Bayeaux
We got up and had breakfast and Eric and Yves arrived one in a Peugeot and one in a Mercedes both with a trailer on to carry our bikes.
They were gorgeous and loaded our bikes into the trailer and our panniers into their boots and off we went.
We had a wonderful trip in the car chatting to Eric who was a retired nurse.
It was only 120kms to Bayeux so before we knew it we were there by 11.
It was too early to check in but the lovely people at our hotel gave us a room to put all our stuff in plus lock up our bikes and we were off into town
Yesterday was D Day – 6 June and Bayeux was the first town liberated by the Americans so there was a lot of celebrations happening.
Tourists everywhere and lots of people dressed up in costume of the 1940’s and war outfits. There were lots of original US army jeeps driving around with people in army outfits.
The atmosphere was fabulous
There is a huge Cathedral in town called the Notre Dame which was built in 1420. It was huge and amazing. Beautiful stain glass windows.
There had obviously been a service there yesterday as the poppy wreaths we’re everywhere
Jane and I went and strolled around town and it was gorgeous.
While driving over from Mont St Michel this morning Eric was telling us that a lot of the towns were totally bombed and destroyed during the war so a lot of towns had new housing and shops compared to a lot of other towns.
Bayeux seemed to have survived the bombing.
I was dying for a coffee which we hadn’t been drinking since we got here as it is so terrible but like a fool I ordered one today. OMG it was awful. I asked for a cappuccino and I got a coffee cup that was full of canned whipped cream with a sprinkle of chocolate and warm coffee that filled a quarter of the cup at the bottom. It was disgusting so will stick to tea until I get back.
Bayeux, of course, is the home of the Bayeux tapestry and how incredible that was. We got a 3 museum deal and went into see the tapestry. It is about 70m long and such intricate work that was done by the nuns to depict the battle of Hastings in 1066 between King Harold and King Edward. They made it so the poor people who couldn’t read could look at the pictures and see what happened. Truly a masterpiece and a definite highlight of the trip.
When we came out we met up with Linda, one of our cyclists and went and had lunch.
All the shops sold the most beautiful bags and linen and scarves with the red poppy all over them. They were lovely but couldn’t carry them so no shopping for us.
Went into the historical museum which also fantastic starting from BC to modern day with paintings, ceramics, apothecary jars, tatting and the making of Chantilly lace which was stunning. The justice system with a small court set up. How they made the regency chairs and so on. It was very good.
It was then on to the Normandy Museum which was the war museum and had all the history of D Day and who fought and the nurses and military men. There was a film which we watched and all very interesting.
We eventually got back to our hotel about 6 and saw everyone and headed out into town for a celebration in the park which was set up, I would imagine, like after the war with a dance floor and bunting and a band playing both french and American rock and roll. It was a great atmosphere and so many people dressed up in army uniforms, sailor uniforms, nurses, french resistance, it was wonderful and the minute the band started playing everyone was up and rock n rolling. They were fantastic.
We had a glass of wine and took it all in then headed off for dinner. Had a wonderful dinner of prawns and snails. Very French!!!
It was then home to bed. What a wonderful day and so glad to have been here at this time and experience the celebrations
There was one guy we saw who was the last person alive who was in the army back then. He was 94 and in a wheelchair but had all his medals on and a big smile on his face.
Just a wonderful experience