France, Days 3 and 4
We took an
early morning train to Bayeux, in the Lower Normandy region of France (the town is very close to Omaha Beach, for you WWII buffs out there). From here, we planned to rent a car and drive to the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial and then, across the country to Verdun (more on this to come!).
We stayed at a beautiful B&B called “Le Petit Matin” (“the little morning”), run by a wonderful owner named Pascal. It was so welcoming, so peaceful, and it was very obvious that Pascal was so proud of his work in taking care of guests. Each morning, he laid out a gorgeous and delicious breakfast for all of us, and showed us the magazines that he’d been featured in, and invited us back for another stay… We were all so thankful for that experience.
Bayeux is a gorgeous and cold city! It’s full of cobblestone streets and old buildings, and appears dead in many areas of town, but after arriving, settling in to the Matin, and grabbing a quick lunch at a crêperie, Karen and Mike went to see about the rental car while Brice and I walked down to the center of town for Bayeux’s annual “Marché de Noël” – a Christmas market! We had so much fun wandering through the market and seeing the different shops and cafés, and we ended up stopping in an Irish pub for a libation. This place was so fun – it had tons of American trinkets and jerseys in it from Notre Dame, Boston College, and others, and the owners insisted on playing the Eagles.
After dinner, we took a short walk past the Bayeux Cathedral, which was the original home of the Bayeux Tapestry (an embroidered tapestry depicting the history and battle of the Norman conquest of England and how William the Conquerer became king of England after the Battle of Hastings). The city has done a beautiful job of lighting up the Cathedral at night!
The next day, Karen and I visited the Bayeux Tapestry, and then the four of us went to the American Cemetery at Normandy, a 20-minute drive from Bayeux. We spent so much time watching videos and reading the stories about individual soldiers who died on the beaches at Normandy, and all of us were very moved by the experience.
The next morning, we left Bayeux for Verdun, France. More on that soon!