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Jul 5, 2017 - Bayeux, France

I arrived in Bayeux at the end of a medieval festival. There were a lot of vendors and such in the street. Bayeux is in the Normandy region of France known for three things. First, a gateway to the DDay landing sites and the American cemetery. Second, the Tapisserie which has gained a UNESCO heritage designation. My understanding is its a 70 foot long tapestry showing events from William the Conqueror. (This comes from an American tourist I met and I haven't verified it's accuracy.) I didn't go to see this. Third, the Notre Dame cathedral...

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Jun 30, 2017 - Arriving in Moyon...Eventually!!

Thought of the day : Like most men, I think of myself as an eel or a sea-run salmon, knowing instinctively where to go... Great crossing - Portsmouth to Cherbourg, leaving at 7.30 and taking 3 hours. Arrive in France with Satnav not working, no internet access on mobiles and, of course, no map! Make it to St Lo, no probs and then the fun begins. Si decides we'll do several laps of town and we try every road coming out (and there are a lot for a small...

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Jun 27, 2017 - Bayeux, France day 3 & 4

Monday We checked out the Memorial Bataille de Normandie Museum in the morning, a lot different to the Overlord Museum, we had seen on the previous Saturday. There were heaps more B&W photos, details of the allied forces struggle & how the Germans made some fatal mistakes in strategy during those early weeks after D day. Around midday we caught the bus out to 'Port-En-Bessin' an historic fishing port. It reminded us a little of Port Issac, although much bigger. We did lots of walks checking out the harbour and headland. The sea was very...

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2017 But's Adventure

Jun 25, 2017 - Bayeux, France - day 2

Sunday Today we explored Bayeux, the standout was the Tapestry Museum and we also visited the museum of Art and History. The Tapestry museum had a huge Tapestry (which was really more embroidery, it was so fine) that was on fine linen and embroidered out of dyed spun wool, and told the story of William the Conquerer's fight for the throne in 1066, it was truly amazing, we were both really impressed. The Tapestry was about 70 metres long and is thought to be made around 1070's and it is astounding that it has survived all these years when...

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2017 But's Adventure

May 26, 2017 - Bayeux

Nine o'clock start to walk to the Bayeux Tapestry Museum was well timed as there was no queue and we were quickly into the display area with audio guides and although there were numbered places above the tapestry the guide ran straight through so that you were told the story and kept moving! And what a magnificent piece of work - 66 metres with the story of William and his battle with Harold detailing the intrigue, the journeys, the battle and finally the coronation of William the Conqueror so 1066 and all that. Perhaps Daniel has read the...

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May 25, 2017 - Normandy Beaches

A sobering but very interesting day as we journeyed from Bayeux to the Normandy beaches, the scene of the D Day landings seen by the Allied forces as an invasion but by the French as liberation., and of course it did not all happen in just one day. Our first stop was at the German cemetery, well kept but so sad with so many of the burial spots just marked with the indication that here are buried two soldiers or one soldier and one name or occasionally two named soldiers. One plaque though has attracted particular attention and there are...

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May 24, 2017 - Caen 1066 and 1944

It has certainly been a full day with an eight o'clock start back to Caen where we met a local guide who was excellent and will be joining us again tomorrow and possibly the day after. Jan had supplied us with some written material about William the Conqueror and our guide expanded on this as we moved to the first visit at the Abbaye aux Hommes. In an attempt to pay off his rather dubious marriage, William has the Abbaye aux Hommes ( Men's Abbey) and Mathilda, the Abbaye aux Dames (ladies' Abbey) built in Caen in 1063 although construction...

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May 23, 2017 - Paris to Bayeux

The ten trippers including our leader Jan left Paris in an enormous coach, rather than the small one we'd expected, heading to Giverny and Monet's garden. It was obvious that there would be big crowds with river cruises dockedatt Vernon and many buses in the car park but we entered without great queues going firstly to the water garden. It has changed a little since my last visit which would have been with Kyle and Louise and there are more floral plantings around the Lake than I recall. It still has a serenity about it despite the...

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Apr 30, 2017 - Mont St Michel; The deluge

Our internet is iffy here (in fact Thomas and I both wrote what I am certain where fabulously witty journal updates already which were somehow deleted, even after we save them... Hence the lack of photos yesterday and the plethora of today. We started our day with another groaning table filled with Normandy's fabulous foods. We need to leave this place before our veins start to run with cream, butter, cheese and wine... We left merrily this morning for Mont St Michel; the lovely abbey fortress on the rocks, this is cut off from the mainland...

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Apr 29, 2017 - D Day Decathalon

Today we wandered through the Normandy countryside, taking in a guided 9 1/2 hour tour of the D Day sights. Out tour guide; Lloyd was from Wales and was quite enthusiastic in his studies of this time periods. We started the trip visiting the Germany Military cemetery; beautiful and somber, with rough hewn lava rock crosses and Germans buring 2-5 soldiers per gravesite. Then on through the hedgerows to various towns, churches, Utah and Omaha Beaches, and finally at the American Cemetery, with it's smooth white military crossed, arranged...

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Apr 28, 2017 - We land at Bayeux

We left Chartres, navigating the narrow winding medieval streets with only a few lurches of the clutch, and heading off to Bayeux. Today we visited the Bayeux Tapestry; embroidered around 1070 detailing the (Norman side of) the battle of Hastings, in 1066. The French Normans are knightly, clean shaven, and clearly operating on the side of righteousness, while those scurrilous Anglo Saxons are a bearded, moustachioed and wild haired lot. Politics; the world never changes. I also visited the local Cathedral (for some reason, Thomas and...

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Apr 24, 2017 - Cherbourg

Two nights and a day at sea brings us to Cherbourg, a beautiful port. The port has a maritime museum with a retired nuclear submarine. Unfortunately we did not have time for a tour when the museum was open. Our time here was spent touring Omaha and Utah beaches and the Normandy American Cemetery. (See the pictures) Cemetery facts: Area 172.5 acres Headstones 9387. Including 149 Stars of David Missing in Action (D-Day) 1557 Sets of Brothers 45 Medal of Honor Recipients 3 After Omaha and the cemetery, we visited Pointe du Hoc, the site of the...

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Europe 2017 Cruise

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