• Elisabeth Fleming-Prot

Normandie!

Updated: Sep 10

Before we left, as Elisabeth was writing the previous post, Steve and the girls went out for a walk at sunset. Steve got some pretty great pictures of St. Malo at sunset.




Yesterday morning we rented a car and drove to Normandy and the city of Bayeux. Elisabeth reacquainted herself with driving a stick shift and zipping around roundabouts in a small car, and we found rock star level parking both St. Malo and in Bayeux.


We located our hotel and then walked around Bayeux and found a lovely restaurant (Bonbonne) and had one of the best meals we’ve had so far. We then proceeded to the Bayeux tapestry. The Bayeux tapestry is a 70m long tapestry (as Steve says, “the original graphic novel”) depicting William the Conqueror’s rise to the throne of England (rise facilitated by invading England and fighting until he won). The lines were long, but the tapestry is so impressive and beautiful even if it’s over a thousand years old.


We had ice cream (delicious) and made our way to the Bayeux cathedral. It is very old, and very grand, and had inexplicable flower disco balls positioned in front of it.






We saw later that there was a “spectacle” (show) with lights that utilized the flower disco balls. Sadly, it was on Thursday night so we were going to miss it.


We spent the night at the Hotel Le Bayeux which featured bunk beds for the kids and a yummy breakfast in the morning. Also a shower that was full human height, which was very nice. After that, off to the D-Day beaches in Arromanches.

But first, a commercial center (a mall). We shopped at a Leclerc (a Fred Meyer/Walmart type of super store) and then an Intersports (a Dick’s Sporting Goods type), and found lots of new things to carry home. We will probably have to mail ourselves a package. Or wear lots of clothes on our way home. There was also a great moving sidewalk on an incline, and Claire had to ride it.


After that, off to Arromanches, which was a cute town with a lot of heavy history. We watched a 360 degree documentary about the 100 days of the invasion of Normandy and Brittany by the allied forces. The movie was very loud and very intense. Claire did not like it, and says she was traumatized. We walked down to the beach and saw the remnants of the artificial harbor the allies built. There are left over pieces of materiel all over, along with cemeteries and memorials to the fallen soldiers.




The picture above is from today and the one below is from the archive at the museum.

And then, of course, there are memorials to other battles. Like this one from a 1811 naval battle, complete with embedded cannon ball.


We had lunch in Arromanches. Claire was horrified by my fish course.








We drove to Longues-sur-Mer where we saw some bunkers and a mortar position just past a wheat field near the edge of the cliff overlooking the beach.



After that, we did a drive-by of the Mont St. Michel. We considered going, but feared the crowds, and the timing worked out better if we skipped it. We’ll see it next time.



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