Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Normandy 2014 : A Day Out in Bayeux

Before I take you on a tour of Bayeux, please take a minute to get yourself acquainted with the beginning of our family's little trip to France during the summer of 2014.
If you would like  to read about our first few days in France, discovering the excitement of Paris with our 3 children, please visit here.
And click here  to see some pretty pictures and read all about our gorgeous historic rental home in Vire, Normandy.
Now onto Bayeux!
After getting settled into our rental home in Normandy for about 24 hours,  our first travel day took us to the lovely nearby city of Bayeux.
 Of course, our first priority was to visit the 1000 year-old  tapestry that famously tells the story of how William the Conqueror defeated the Anglo-Saxons in 1066.
We viewed the 70 metre embroidery with the aid of some "1066 cell-phones" that told us the story of the events leading up to the great battle as we walked the long u-shaped halls past the hand-stitched images. 
The kids referred to the cloth as the first "comic strip" and found a lot of excitement in the images and the storyline.   

A horse image from the Tapestry and  the man of the hour himself, William the Conqueror.
Before making our way to our next museum stop, we took some time to check the cute little central town of Bayeux. 
This little café sat beside the river's edge. 

Even though it serves no purpose to pump water for the nearby mill, this waterwheel added a lot of ambience to a pretty lane near the Tapestry Museum.

We found this beautiful old building on one of the commercial streets in the old downtown core.   D-Day events had just completed during the previous month so there were still many decorations honouring  the soldiers from Canada, Great Britain and the US  who had fought and won back France's freedom in 1944. 

Our next stop was the "Battle of Normandy Museum." The boys, including my husband, Kevin, really wanted to see tanks and this museum didn't disappoint.   
Even though our 2 sons found these tanks  extremely "cool," we constantly reminded them of why tanks were built and how they really are killing machines, created to wage war and keep peace. 
Seeing these large machines, parked in a field in a pretty little town does not make a clear picture of how things would really be during an actual battle.  Hopefully by the end of our trip, our whole family will see and understand  the battles of WWII at  a whole new level!

And before leaving the museum, the whole family took time to remember. 
Walking back into town, we came across a field of cows.  In the middle of town.  With busy roads screaming by on either side.   Theses bovines seemed very out of place! 
Kevin was glad to find a "Chaumiere," where he bought several Euros worth of smoked meat and cheese. Mmmm.....
And then the rain came! And did it ever pour!
It didn't break our spirits though. Onward and upward!
Umm....could I move in please? 

 Afterwards we learned this place was a hotel.  And for a few hundred Euro a night we could stay here for a few days.  Maybe next time.....
Next up - Bayeux Cathedral. I love these two pictures below.
The one the left shows the church surrounded by grey skies just before the rain began.  Then on the right, the blue skies one hour later. It gives the church a whole different feeling doesn't it??
Aren't the red doors on the front façade eye-catchingly lovely?

This was Camden's MO on this trip.  He would be as happy as a clam everywhere we went, but as soon as I wanted a cute photo of the three kids together, he would go all grumpy on me!

I LOVE early medieval gargoyles and stone tracery!!
And now inside the Cathedral:
My other love- mosaic floors!

These windows aren't too shabby either!

At this point on the trip, the children had only seen 2 Gothic cathedrals - Notre Dame in Paris and this church in Bayeux.  It was amazing how they were already drawing comparisons between the 2 buildings. 
"The windows were bigger in Paris, Mom."
"The walls here have a lot more bumps."
"I see more texture here, Mommy!"
"This one's a lot less serious. More sunny. Look at that funny man. I could have fun here."

From the mouths of babes.....
And really, isn't that why we brought them along in the first place? 

Oh Bayeux.  Such a pretty town.
I wish I could have spent a bit longer discovering your back roads and your connection to other phases of history.
But there was so much to see in our little part of France.  And we only had 2 weeks living there. 
Au revoir, Bayeux. 
Next up - Rennes (in northern Brittany!)


  1. It all looks so beautiful and those water wheels, especially the one not in use, the flowers are just gorgeous :) x x x x

    1. It really was a splendid place. It was high on our Normandy "priority list" so that is why we saw it on Day 1! I had seen so many pictures of the town and knew I had to see as much of it as possible!

  2. Oh Brownwyn, you KNOW how much I love this post!! The architecture is breathtaking and I absolutely LOVE the red door to the Cathedral. Can't wait for Brittany. x

    1. No worries on the name-spelling! I've seen my name spelled SO MANY ways in my lifetime! I took lots of architecture pics on our vacation - literally 100's. I am really enjoying sharing them here on the blog. It lets me re-live these travel moments all over again!

  3. Hello came by as a post for five on Friday for you popped up on my blog reader list, sorry that your post isn't here. Five On Friday will be running every week so if you want to join in this Friday that would be lovely - it goes from 7am Friday to 7 am Saturday. xx

    1. I don't know what happened to my blog post. But it is fixed now. I'll join in next week for sure. I know I'll have other sweet moments captured by my camera next Friday!


Thanks so much for popping by my little world. I'd love to hear from you. Comments make my day!!