Beautiful Bayeux

Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Bayeux, Normandy, France

Today we really didn't have anything set or planned . I had some suggestions of things we could do, but there was nothing on a timeline except for our dinner reservations this evening at, from what I have read, a very good restaurant in town. 

We "slept in" until 9:30. Missy ran down the street to get some fresh croissants. I started scrambling some eggs and putting out some items we bought at the grocery store last night. I thought my attempt at putting out a decent breakfast was not too shabby. Had it just been me, I probably would've ate a croissant and orange and drank a cup of coffee while standing next to the kitchen counter. But in the back of my mind, I knew my mom would want dad to have a decent breakfast. Not that he really cares, but I do feel like we should watch out for him. We'll carry his suitcase on steep stairs. My sister carries his passport. I carry his money. We want him to be comfortable and not be overwhelmed. 

We decided to take a drive to Sainte Mere Eglise, a little town about 30 minutes west of Bayeux. This was a significant place during the war as US military parachuted on the town on the morning of D-Day. If you have seen the movie, "The Longest Day," it depicts an American soldier, John Steele, having his parachute caught on the steeple of the town church. This article tells the story much better than I ever could.   

We visited the inside of the church, and the age of it is just incredible . I want to say that I read that it is hundreds of years old, even from the 1100s. It was cold inside, but there was so much character. The bullet holes in the concrete walls, the wooden pews and benches, the old organ. The cool thing about one of the windows is that it honors the paratroopers, because the original windows were destroyed by bombings. We also went to the Airbourne Museum that had more replicas from the war, mainly a C-47 plane that was used to drop paratroopers. The size of that thing is unreal. Being that it's March, there was hardly anyone in the town, but I'm guessing in the summer it is packed. We were really glad that we made the drive to this little town, packed with so much history and significance during the war. 

After we left Sainte Mere Eglise, we went to an cider orchard a few miles south of Bayeux. The Normandy region is known for its cider production. Cider House Viard has been around for 80 years and produces 5 kinds of cider. We sampled a few and bought some calvados, which is an apple brandy. It was located outside a cute little town of Gueron, and the drive was very nice. They produce the cider in September - December, and then store it. Many of the apples used in the cider are grown here, but they also buy some. 

After walking past the old mill on the river and the Notre Dame Cathedral (which is one of the biggest and most impressive churches I have ever seen), we had dinner at Le P'tit Resto, which is ranked 1st on Trip Advisor in Bayeux. The food was freshly prepared and the decor inside was simple, yet colorful. We like the clean and simple designs of the restaurants. I enjoyed the pork medallions in a cream sauce with pureed carrot and wild mushrooms. Tres bien! 

We are loving the quietness and quaintness of Bayeux (bye-uh) so far. It's definitely not as touristy as Bruges and not as large as Amsterdam. The streets and buildings feel very "French." John said so far this is his favorite place. French people don't always have the best reputations toward us, but we have found the people here very friendly. Tomorrow, we get picked up at 9 am by our tour guide to see Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, and the American and German cemeteries. We're really looking forward to this. 

Thanks for reading! Bon nuit!



Darlene Kientop

Your photos and blog are wonderful! Thank you for "taking us along!!"