Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Normandy (last day)

half way across the new bridge
We had to be out of our hotel by 10am on the last day, so we had a long (homeless) day ahead of us... We had taken in Pegasus Bridge on the previous day which I found rather amusing because there were a lot of American tourists there marvelling at Pegasus Bridge and snapping away reams of digital storage at the thing when in reality the "real" bridge which had been removed some time ago and moved onto the other side of the river/canal was practically unvisited......

The real Pegasus Bridge
Anyway we tucked into our breakfast at the hotel and set off for Bayeux, I had already warned my father that we WERE visiting the Bayeux tapestry and probably the Cathedral.....he rather grumpily accepted he was outvoted... so off we drove to Bayeux which is remarkably close to Caen only a few miles really .... we got there and I have to say it is a beautiful town, very clean very bright stonework and we parked up and headed straight for the Bayeux Tapestry

I was particularly amused by the medieval flasher

I managed to shoot this photograph from the hip because photography was strictly forbidden in several languages !!! my camera was supposed to be on "Museum mode" but no it FLASHED in a VERY dark room and I quickly pocketed my camera and whistled unconvincingly.... 

Those nuns had vivid imaginations
Obviously he was doing "I'm a little teapot... short and stout" and they did it naked in Norman times.....

We then went onto the the Cathedral and I have to say it's a must visit ....well despite the homeless man (I question that statement) begging at the huge front door... although I had to laugh at somebody thanking him for letting him visit his Cathedral ...(some people....rolls eyes) He was being very sly... when somebody put some money into his tin he'd wait for a few seconds then remove some cash to make it look like he hadn't collected much, I estimated 20 euro's in the tin and judging by the steady flow of tourists and contributions he must have been making a fortune.... call me cynical .....he wasn't that hard up....

The Cathedral is just monstrous... you walk in and your jaw just drops.... it's beyond massive, quite awe inspiring and a huge achievement of medieval  builders and stonemasons... my father made me laugh by saying "what a waste of money" .... but then with my dad if it hasn't got a sharp point at one end and an engine at the blunt one and travels in water.... it would be a waste of money

Bayeux Cathedral... HOOOGE

As you can see by the photo above I couldn't even get the spire in... a very impressive building....

We then went on to the tank museum in Bayeux... again worth a visit and very eye opening as to what went on starting on the 6th June 1944... I found it particularly ironic that one of the gun barrels of the tanks parked outside had a birds nest in it complete with chicks...  so where once only death and destruction came.... sprung forth life !!!

We then ambled back via Omaha beach  which was pretty awe inspiring and you could understand the great loss of life on that beach by looking at the beach defences still there....very sad ..... then back to Ouistreham where my mother finally got her lamb chops which she had been coveting at a very nice restaurant, right on the front of Ouistreham beach (Sword beach) ... we then simply waited around until our ferry left at 11pm and had a very nice trip back again it was like a billiard table much to my mothers relief !!!

My parents however have the spatial ability of a hamster between them, I think they did more mileage walking the wrong way up and down the ferry than the whole time in France they very nearly wore out the lift.... very funny though....

all in all a very worthwhile and enlightening trip.... and I didn't crash their car once !!! :)

ps/ if you click on any of the pictures you'll see it in higher resolution :)

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