Today was a day for exploring Bayeux. We had seen quite a bit of it over the last couple of days, it is a beautiful place, largely as it avoided getting flattened in WWII.
As you might expect, it is very touristy and a tad expensive. There are a lot of American tourists; it is one of the ‘must see’ towns on their itinerary along with Paris and Mont St Michel. I was going to add that you can spot them a mile off with their zip-off walking trousers, fleeces and walking shoes, but then realised that is exactly what we have been wearing for the last week. I think we better drop that.
The plan was to visit the Tapestry, the war museum and the British and commonwealth cemetery.
We managed to fit in the Cathedral yesterday and impressive it is. It was completed in 1077 and took 32 years to build. It is vast and the crypt underneath included some original wall drawings. After this, we went for something to eat in a small restaurant.
Today I woke up feeling like crap. I am fairly sure it is food poisoning, though I am clearly not medically qualified to make such a diagnosis, believe me it has all the hallmarks! Possibly the snails I ate. Note to self; don’t order snails in a cheap(ish) restaurant.
We still managed to get to the Tapestry fairly early, about 9:15 am, and although the there were a lot of people milling about outside, it was very quiet inside. We were straight in with very few others, so it must be a good time to go. We had earlier been advised that late evening was the best.
The experience is excellent. There is an audio guide which talks you through the Tapestry (comes with the ticket) and an exhibition and film which are both worth spending time on.
We left and went to have a wander around the market, though I was beginning to go down hill rapidly, so we decided to go back to the hotel, so I could have a sleep and we would visit the museum and cemetery later in the day. We sat in a bar and Louise went to get me some paracetamol. When she came back they were huge pills; I wondered whether she has bought me some Viagra instead😜.
Queue one of the ever increasing number of comedy moments we have had in less that a week in France.
Our hotel room pass key would not work, so we got another, which still did not work. We asked the chamber maid and her pass opened every door except ours; the door scanner was not working. We went back to reception, to be told we would have to change rooms. We refused and asked for the manual key, but this was refused on the basis that the only one (one?) they had was a master. So we had to change rooms. Louise was going ballistic and became more incandescent when we realised that the room had single beds (that Viagra was a waste of time then!) More complaints, but (apparently) that was the only room left. Campanile Bayeux has not exactly covered itself in glory.
I suppose this would not be so funny if it wasn’t for the fact that all I desperately wanted to do is crawl into bed and ended up waiting an hour and a half to do so.
Having had a decent nap, we made our way to the Bayeux Normandy landings museum, which is really worth a look; well laid out, informative and with lots of big kit (tanks, guns etc) which really appeals to me (us blokes can be a bit shallow like that).
We crossed the road to the very moving British, commonwealth and others cemetery (there at 400 German soldiers here as well as about 4,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers) As described earlier, these are moving places, but small things catch your attention. For me, it was the 16 Royal Marine Commandos lined up next to each other and all of whom died on 7th June 1944.
After this it was a planning session for tomorrow’s ride to the British sector and we went for something to eat. Well Louise ate, and I basically stared at the food I had ordered and the apologised for not eating it.
We will take a view in the morning as to the route we take, but hopefully we will be fit to ride. One thing is for sure, we are not staying in this place a moment longer!