When I found out that we had a house-sit in Normandy my first thought, well my second after “mmm cider”, was that I would finally get to see the Bayeux Tapestry. I clearly remember doing a school project about it when I was around nine that I’m certain involved cardboard helmets with nose guards, but I may have made that up. The people of Bayeux do seem to have other ideas though as it was possibly the hardest 70 foot long piece of fabric to find in the world, ever. Thankfully, GPS intervened and after much driving around in circles we made it to the museum.
The tapestry didn’t disappoint and the way they have presented it is very clever, I particularly enjoyed Nick’s reactions to the audio guide which he later stated reminded him of Monty Python. I could probably have done without the 30 minute film though, in French surrounded by a school group, the Tapestry had already said it all anyway. You really should go and see it, we’ll draw you a map if you do!
It was a decent drive from where we were in St Pois and so close to the Normandy landing beaches that we decided to also visit Omaha Beach. We chose the last Friday of our stay, made some sandwiches, packed a million dog biscuits and were off. It wasn’t a great day weather wise, but when we got to our first stop at Pointe du Hoc I was glad of the moody grey skies. Viewing this clifftop bomb site still with massive craters and concrete bunkers would have just seemed wrong on a beautiful sunny day. As it was I felt slightly ashamed to take photos. I plumped for this one, mainly because of the tree.
It was raining a little by the time we reached Omaha Beach and there was barely anybody there. The still grey skies made for a stunning backdrop to the enormous monument that stands there. I really wanted to let the dogs out for a run, but it seemed wrong somehow. It was extremely bizarre to be standing on a spot where so many fell and I’m certain that others have explained it more eloquently than I ever could. The most striking thing for me though was the beauty of the beach and the lack of touristy bucket and spade shops, bars and restaurants. I do hope that never changes. The memorial does have a page on Facebook, I’m not sure how to feel about that.