Monday, April 01, 2013

Normandy: Day One

On Tuesday, Joe and I took an overnight train from Hendaye to Paris, then the metro to the St. Lazzarine train station, then the 10:10am train to Caen. It was all surprisingly easy and the overnight train was a great way to spare half a day of traveling + a night at a hotel.
Proof that Joe & I really manage to travel for 10 days with one backpack each.
We had originally intended to pick up the car and go straight to Bayeux, but Hertz had just started their two hour lunch break.  So instead wspent a few hours walking around Caen, which was one of the toughest battles during the war and was left nearly obliterated upon liberation.  We stopped into a church which clearly had taken massive hits, and read the monuments dispersed about town dedicated to WWI soldiers. I was actually quite glad to have spent some time here knowing what a key town this was in the Normandy battles.

After exploring Caen, we picked up our car and drove to Bayeux, the town which would be our home base for the trip.  Upon arriving at our fantastic hotel (Le Bayeux Hotel) and getting rid of our backpacks, we walked to the Tapestry Museum to see the infamous Bordeaux Tapestry, which is really a long embroidered cloth from the 11th century illustrating the story of William the Conquerer's battle for the English throne.  I was surprisingly fascinated with the tapestry (which is very long and comes with an audio guide to narrate the whole story) and the history.

After a little more than an hour at the museum, we walked down the street to the Bayeux Cathedral, which was full of history that kept us interested for a good amount of time.  It is fascinating that Bayeux was a somewhat central part of the Normandy invasions yet received such little physical damage.  This was definitely a contrast to what we had seen previously in Caen. 

It had already been a long day, and since we were really starting the heavy stuff early in the morning, we had a nice dinner and called it a night.
Goodnight from our friend at the Hotel Le Bayeux

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