Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, September 22nd, La Rosiere
The following is from Pat's journal today:
We arose and had a breakfast of heavenly croissants. We did get enough for a grand picnic lunch. This will be our pattern, I hope: have breakfast at the hotel, and filch enough bread, cheese, and fruit for lunch. We headed out east and north across Pont de Tancerville bridge across the Seine. Thank God we had 2.4 euros in coins. An elderly couple was begging drivers for change, and we could not share. We wended our way north, amid all-too-cute villages, towards the Atlantic Cote de’Albatre (alabaster) to Fecampe, a port city with a swimming beach (part blue-collar, part resort). The white cliffs are prominent here across the straight from Dover, and there were a few brave swimmers in the chilly water.
Next, we hugged the shore heading southwest to the village of Yport, which was my favorite of the day with a Norman church, rocky beach, white cliffs and cabanas. We feasted on our breakfast gleanings, then headed again southwest along the bluff to Etretate. This town is the most famous for white cliffs, and has some arches and off-shore mounts. Too bad we had so much farther to go, for I would have enjoyed a hike to one of the bluffs on either side of the beach.
We headed back southeast to the other bridge across the Seine (Ponte Normandie). This one a newer, classier span with a higher toll. Then we headed to Caen, and passed it to Bayeux. We skirted Honfluer, then to Ponte leVeque, Troacon, and somehow made it across the northern outskirts of Caen without getting lost (well, three or four turnarounds or missed turns).
Bayeux is a lovely, mid-sized medieval town that houses the Bayeux tapestry (a remarkable 70-meter depiction of the story of William the Conqueror (Duke of Normandy) defeating Harold for the British Crown in 1066. The tapestry was commissioned in 1067-68, just after the Battle of Hastings. It is in an amazing condition, with bright harmonius colors (still) and has dramatic and artistic depictions. We also stopped at the Cathedral nearby, a Norman delight. There are impossibly high gothic arches, and as an extra treat the organist was playing. We got a bit lost leaving town, but did get to our hotel (La Rosiere), a few kms from Arromanches (one of the sites of the Normandy D-Day invasion). We head for the memorial tomorrow.
We “enjoyed” our Normandy brut cider, bought in Honfluer yesterday – a cider beer that is an acquired taste, but a must if you visit Normandy. Hopefully the calvados is more to out liking (cider brandy). We are sitting outside our hotel room, and are being serenaded by a neighbor’s flock of geese. Hopefully, they will let us sleep in tomorrow.
To see all the photos taken today, Click on:
Tuesday, Sep 22nd
Gregory and Pat