Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Born on the Bayeux, Part 3

So now we arrive at the main part of the trip. We really wanted to see the Bayeux Tapestry, and then decided that since Omaha Beach is really close, that we would go there. It's kinda funny, that morning I was noticed that we were in the middle of this two-week period where there were events commemorating D-Day. Then we realized it was June 6, so... that worked out well.

We started at Bayeux in the morning. There was something going on in the cathedral, I think war-related because there were a bunch of soldiers about, so we couldn't go in, but I did get a picture.

We also saw this memorial which I believe was for residents who had died in concentration camps:

And of course, we saw the Bayeux Tapestry, which you aren't allowed to take pictures of. I have to say, during my time in Europe, I've seen many things. There are some, like the Mona Lisa, which I think you get basically the same experience seeing a picture (well except that if you look at a picture you won't be craning your head over all the tall people taking selfies in front of you). The Bayeux Tapestry is one of the few things that I think is an experience worth seeing in person. For one thing, it's huge. It's 70 meters long. And for someone like me, who does needlework, it was really cool to look at the stitches up close. I even bought an embroidery kit in the shop so I can learn to do it for myself!

After Bayeux, we headed to Omaha Beach. I had actually been there before, but Hunter hadn't and really, I'm glad I went back. If you know me, you know I'm not really into patriotic stuff or like, military history. But just being there, kinda made me proud to be an American. I guess it's another thing where being right there is a different experience. We didn't take pictures there, either, because we felt a bit weird about it.

Our intention at that point was to go back through Caen, where we had stayed the night, and look around and eat lunch. But Sadie fell asleep in the car and we didn't want to wake her up, so we drove through a McDonald's. I tell ya, ordering through one of those speakers in a foreign language is not easy. But at least I did get a Royal with Cheese!

So, we skipped Caen and headed next to Rouen.

I think the Rouen Cathedral was my favorite; I loved how lacy it is. We saw quite a few cathedrals on this trip, and really, they all look different. I'm hoping in the future to make a post with pictures of all the facades, so you can see next to each other how distinctive they are.

Anyway, there is only one day left of the trip, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Born on the Bayeux, Part 2

Ok, so we spent the morning in Boulogne. We ate breakfast outside, where I noticed a fun difference between French and German people. It was breezy and shady out, but probably going to be a warm day. I guarantee you a German parent would have had their kid in a hat and jacket, while our French hostess was fanning herself with how hot she thought it was. It was basically perfect temperature.

As I mentioned, we stayed at a small bed and breakfast and I noticed it would be the perfect place to stay if you were on the run. The reservations were made completely by email, not through a booking system, we paid in cash, and were never required to provide any kind of identification. Just an interesting thing I hadn't experienced before.

Ok, so in Boulogne, there is sort of a walled old town. There is also a huge crypt that had just been opened a few days before we got there. It was pretty cool, both literally and metaphorically.

There was also a museum that had kind of a mish-mash of different things: Egyptian, Greek, and, surprisingly, a huge collection of Sugpiaq masks. They also had some contemporary Inuit art, which I thought was really cool because it sets indigenous peoples in the context of still being alive and creating today. It was doubly cool to see that in a different country. Europeans seem to know even less about Native Americans than... Americans. Next to one of the contemporary masks, it said it would be used ceremonially after being displayed. That was probably the most unexpected thing we encountered on our trip.

We also walked around a bit in the old town (I did SO MUCH WALKING on this trip) before heading to Le Havre, our next destination.

Le Havre had another unexpected sight: a very modern and interesting cathedral.

And here's a view looking up from inside.

We also saw an older church with this creepy gargoyle:

And a memorial that I believe was for both World Wars:

So that's day two of our trip! I know these posts are really slow in coming, but I'm hoping that during the next few days I'll be able to get caught up!