Following on from the first day of our Normandy adventure where we started looking at significant historic WW2 sites, day two started with a more medieval theme with a trip to Bayeux.
Isaac is studying the Anglo-Saxons at school and although he has yet to learn about William the Conqueror, I thought he would enjoy a visit to see the Bayeux Tapestry and the next piece of history he will be studying.
Bayeux was about an hours drive from where we were staying and we left fairly late as we helped do the feed run in the morning with Rosie. What we didn’t realise is that the Bayeux Tapestry closes for two hours over lunch, so although we arrived at 11.30, they stop people going in 45 minutes before they close so we had to wait until they re-opened.
Thankfully Bayeux is a beautiful town with lots to see, including a spectacular cathedral.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux is a Norman-
I can honestly say that the cathedral is breathtaking inside and out. We were lucky enough to visit on a sunny day and the light shining through the stained glass windows reflected on the stone walls and made beautiful patterns on the walls and floor.
Around the cathedral, the historic centre was completely untouched during the events of 1944 and the old timber-framed houses, manors and townhouses which still stand to this day.
It was finally time to head inside to see the Bayeux Tapestry. You are given audio sets to listen too which guide you slowly past the tapestry which is numbered above so you know where you are in the story. There are children’s guides for the kids too which they loved listening too. If you ever visit, make sure you look at the bottom of the tapestry as there are some rather “risqué” pictures that the audio guide completely ignores!
Sadly photography isn’t allowed inside to prevent damage to the fabric, but it was fascinating. Upstairs there is a small museum with artifacts, information and replica villages from the era. The family tree was fascinating and having always been on King Harold’s side I now realise that William was in fact the rightful heir to the British throne.
After Bayeux we headed to Omaha Beach which was the most intensely fought after beach on D-Day on June 6th 1944 and made famous by the film Saving Private Ryan. It is quite sobering visiting the stunning memorial and whilst Hubby and I reflected on events that had gone on in the past, the kids were happy playing on the beach, finding shells and having fun – just how it should be.
The plan next was to visit the Overlord Museum but we had spent far too long playing on the beaches so we decided to stop at the American Cemetery instead. I have to admit I wasn’t sure about taking Isaac and Eliza here as they can be boisterous at times but they behaved brilliantly, asking lots of questions and generally taking it all in.
Once we had finished visiting the cemetery it was time to head back to Eco-Gites of Lenault to light the fire and warm up as it had turned very chilly, despite the sun.