Right off the bat, I know the updates to this blog have been irregular at best. We're working to change that! Crazy how time gets away from you, but from here on expect updates on Thursdays!
The next place we stayed, Bayeux, was my favorite part of France. The hostel was remarkably hot, the room was nothing special, and I got my first real bad case of water poisoning, but none of those things took away from how nice the city was.
Bayeux is a small town just a few miles southeast from Normandy Beach. We learned it was the makeshift capital for France during WW2 because it was one of the first cities liberated.
In the center of town it had a Cathedral that is one of the few Cathedrals left entirely intact from WW2. Almost all of the Cathedrals in this area of France faced serious damage or almost complete destruction, but this one was left whole and untouched. Rob was enthralled with this Cathedral, and claimed it to be better than Notre Dame.
We ended up staying a few days in Bayeux. It was the first place with good internet so far, so we decided to milk that for what it was worth. Our jobs rely heavily on internet access, which up until now had been a consistent issue.
Our first day in Bayeux we went to the Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux which had on display (as you can probably guess) the Bayeux Tapestry.
The next day we headed to Normandy beach. We arrived first at Longues-sur-Mer German Battery which now is simply a few battlements left behind with the rusting remains of 152-mm Navy Guns intended for sea defense. It's things like this I really do enjoy. There were a few plaques and the area was well kept, but there was nothing about it that was showy or over done. You could walk right into the battlements, touch the guns, climb on top of the hillocks, no ropes or "do not touch" signs to be found.
From there we traveled to the actual beaches, and arrived at Omaha beach. There were a few statues, and the sand there was beautiful. We were both very struck by the wording of the memorial left there. In case you can't read it:
"The Allied Forces landing on this shore which they called Omaha Beach liberate Europe - June 6th 1944"
Really the thing that struck me the most about the Bayeux / Normandy area was the fact that two major historical events both within the same realm took place there.
In 1066 an invasion was launched that led to the Battle of Hastings, which was the beginning of the end for England. Ultimately they were conquered by the Normans, and it all started there. Then in similar fashion, D-Day was the taking of Normandy by the Allies. American, British, and Canadian forces swarmed the beaches, which was the beginning of the end for Germany, and it all started there. Nothing now remains of the Norman invasion except the Bayeux tapestry. I wonder how much time will pass before that same thing can be said about D-Day. I think the real lesson here is we should get back into making tapestries, as they seem to last the test of time.