Bayeux and the Battle tapestry

Bayeux was going to be a real test for me and my ability to speak and understand French as our Air BnB hosts didn’t speak English. On our arrival there was a really good feeling. Eliane and Jean Yves were so welcoming. Our room was a converted attic room and we had a private bathroom just down the hall. Eliane had prepared a photo copy map of Bayeux with major attractions and restaurants highlighted on it.

Once we had settled in we had a brief chat. Their daughter Amélie had arrived home and she spoke a little English, enough to help things along nicely. By now we had been invited into their lounge area and we were sitting down. After a while we excused ourselves and headed into town. Our accommodation was only a hundred metres from the edge of the old town and about a ten minute walk to the cathedral area where many restaurants were located. After looking around we chose Le Masala, which was offering traditional Normandy cooking and pizzas.

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Even though it was busy the waitress found us a table in a really good spot. I ate pork Mignon with a traditional Normandy sauce of creamy mushrooms. Karen ate pizza. After dinner we strolled around the old part of town. The cathedral was beautifully lit.

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When we returned our hosts, Eliane and Jean Yves invited us in for a chat and a Calvados, a local after dinner drink. It was 40% but quite nice. We shared lots of conversation and photos from overseas trips we had done between us.

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The next morning we awoke to the sound of rain on our attic room’s roof. Breakfast was a sumptuous spread. When we finished it was still raining – an ideal day to be inside a museum. So we put on our coats and walked into the museum which is quite centrally located. The English audio guide was essential. It was certainly needed as the tapestry is seventy metres long and there were over 50 different scenes telling the story of how William the Conqueror came to England and fought Harold after the death of Edward the Confessor.

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Next we went down one level where there is a museum section with lots of general detail about this time in history. The models were especially detailed.

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After spending the morning viewing the tapestry and the museum we walked around the town a bit more. It was certainly well maintained.

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Just before lunch we finished with a quick visit to the cathedral which had been so spectacularly lit up the previous night. The stained glass windows were a real feature.

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