Monday, May 6th 2019 Deauville and camping at Bayeux
Left Camping Saint Nicolas, Le Bec-Hellouin. Taking down and packing away the awning/canopy was fairly straight forward, even fitted into its bag on the first attempt. I call that a success.
We headed over to Deauville and parked in the station car park. Walked across the road to the marina where we admired the yachts. One was even leaving under sail in the marina. The buildings along the streets were a very different style to ones I have seen elsewhere. Lots of tall roofs and unneeded small pinnacle type roofs. I thought they must be a nightmare to keep watertight where they joined the main roofs. Rosemary, of course, loved them, as she thought would our roofer back at home. Walked into the main town square where there is a fountain, with eight roads all coming in together. A quick stop for lunch which we ate in a picnic stop on the road to Bayeux
Set up camp in Bayeux where we were staying in the municipal site on the river L’Aure. Decided not to put up the canopy as the green space was quite small. Still nice campsite in the middle of town, so we would not be doing any driving while we are here. We took the riverside walk into town, about 20 minutes and looked at the main places we would be visiting the next day and planning the restaurant we would stop at for lunch.
Two beers before we walked back to campsite, were over 11 Euro ☹ . Walked back to the campsite and set up for the evening meal, Toulouse sausage stew. Yum Yum.
Tuesday, May 7th 2019 Bayeux Tapestry Museum and Museum of Art and History Baron Gerard
Still sunny, thought it was going to be more cloudy today. Stayed fairly bright and almost warm the whole day, slight drizzle after 7 pm. Started the day with our order of Pain Au Chocolat plus cereal, eaten outside. We then walked into town and headed for the Bayeux Tapestry. Here we bought tickets that would allow entry into several museums for 15 Euro.
The first part of the Tapestry museum was the Tapestry. There you are issued with an audio guide. There is no stopping the guide, so make sure you go in with a gap between you and the people in front. This ensures they have moved on between the sections, so you have a good view of the tapestry. For something nearly a 1000 years old, it is in remarkably good condition. We also learnt a lot about Harold which I had not known. It seemed from the Norman propaganda viewpoint that he and William were almost good pals, and that Harold had gone to see William to vow allegiance to him agreeing that he, William, would be the next King of England when Edward died. It seems that Harold went back on his promise and was crowned King, causing William to come over here and fight for his “rightful” Kingship. R made a note to do a spot of googling on the subject.
After the main course, you go upstairs where there is an exhibition on the history and the further wars which William had to fight to keep England under control. Well worth seeing.
Next, we went for lunch at Le Pommier where I started with raw Salmon, followed by a Fish Gratin with spinach. Rosemary started with a salad of vegetables and fruit, and then chicken with a lemon and honey sauce, which she said was far better than it sounded. We both ended with a lovely creme brulee, very shallow, but a large dish, maximising the brulee.
Onto the museum of the Museum of Art and History Baron Gerard, a very newly renovated building housing and exhibition concentrating on the history of the area which took you from prehistoric times all the way through to the 1800s. R was overcome by the bobbin lace making, and really liked the white ceramic pottery made in the 1800s. This included the usual cups and saucers, and also laboratory ware.
Back to the campsite, where we had a small snackerel, drinky poos and eventually sat inside at around 7 pm as a small amount of precipitation started. Due to be coming down harder during the night.
Wednesday, May 8th 2019 Bayeux Normandy Landings Museum
Mixed weather today, it rained and the sun shone. Started out late because of the rain, no matter, no big itinerary. We also decided to eat lunch out, again to offset the drizzle.
First was a visit to the Normandy Landings Museum. This told us the story of the D day landings, with potted resumes of the main generals on all sides. There was a mixture of diagrams showing the armed forces, and words to explain the actions. Videos in strategic places to show the terrain and actions which were occurring in the battles. Many physical remains from the war, from shaving cream, cigarettes, bullets, gas masks, and radios. Even spotted one radio transceiver which looked very much like one my grandfather had in his shed. I wonder what happened to that.
There were descriptions of the planning, the landings, the French resistance and Charles de Gaulle.
Nearby, there was the British Cemetery, and also a memorial to journalists killed in action. The memorial for journalists listed by year the journalists killed in action on large upright stones. The list is large with so many killed. Presently it goes up to 2018, the 2019 deaths to be added. We then walked around the British cemetery. So very, very sad.
We walked back to the centre, just arriving at the restaurant we had eaten yesterday. 2.30 was too late for a French lunch, despite the wording outside saying 2.45. Now it really started to hammer down with rain. We searched around several other restaurants, all saying they closed at 2.30. We sheltered under a canopy and debated a pizzaria (there seem to be loads of these in France these days) or the creperie place opposite where we were standing. This was open all day. We ate some very tasty galettes (Ie a crepe made with buckwheat flour).
Next, we visited the Cathedral, far more ornate and spacious than the one we had seen earlier. Prince Charles had visited here on the 70th anniversary of the end of the war and had attended a ceremony where a new bell had been installed in the belfry, making a total of 17 bells.
Walked on back to the campsite, where we spotted another English VM camper van. We went over to chat with them about their bike rack on the back. A VW rack which they were pleased with.
Simple supper of cheese and bread, hopefully, the smell in the fridge has now gone. The goat’s cheese did not smell much when individually smelt, but the fridge was highly pongy. Yes, the fridge was much better after the removal of the cheese.
Route planned for tomorrow, some Neolithic stuff, and a campsite near St Malo.