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  • Day430

    Day 431: Normandy & Bayeux

    April 21, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    More driving today! First stop was at the D-Day landing beaches in Normandy, which are all along the coast of northern France. Although there's several of them, we stopped at Omaha Beach which was the most notorious - the one featured in the opening of Saving Private Ryan (though that was filmed in Ireland). There's a couple of nice memorials, but otherwise not much to see. Plenty of Americans around though, and lots of American flags too.

    Next stop was the town of Bayeux just nearby, home to the eponymous Bayeux Tapestry. This is the world's most famous tapestry, which ironically enough isn't a tapestry at all - it's an embroidery. It tells the full story of William the Conqueror's invasion of England in 1066, from the death of Edward the Confessor, right through the Battle of Hastings and William's eventual crowning. It's a fantastic source for medieval historians since it was done basically straight after the battle. Very artistic too, though you have to remember it is a piece of Norman propaganda and may not tell the full story! Interesting to see that Mont Saint MIchel makes an appearance as well!

    The whole thing is actually huge - it's only 50cm or so tall, but it runs for about 70 metres in length and takes about 20 minutes to see fully. You get an audio guide and walk slowly alongside it, listening to the commentary which was very well done. I quite enjoyed it!

    Since it was a warm sunny day and Schnitzel obviously couldn't come in the museum with us, we did it turn about so I had lunch while Shandos visited, and then vice-versa. Apparently we sat in almost exactly the same spot without realising! Schnitzel must've been very confused.

    Back in the car, where we drove a couple of hours east along the coastline to the city of Le Havre. This is a World Heritage town but one with a twist - it's listed for post-war urban architecture which is quite unusual. Will be checking that out tomorrow, but for tonight it's staying in and getting comfortable in another bachelor pad apartment!
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