the first day we went to Bayeux, a little norman town that is most well known for this really really old tapestry...which at first did not seem like the most exciting thing in the world to me, but when i actually saw it was totally fascinated, mostly with how old and ugly it was. Apparently it was made sometime in the 1000s or 1100s and is 250 feet long and tells the story of some battle between normandy and england. Here it is in its natural habitat:
This post is apparently not going to be in chronological order, because seeing that tapestry was actually the first thing we did on the second day.
The first thing we did on the first day was check into our quaint little hostel accommodations, which were actually quite homey and not at all reminiscent of a certain horror movie set in prague. Then we visited this 5 bajillion year old church that apparently used to house the Bayeux tapestry:
It was really beautiful and intricate yet creepy at the same time because it was covered with gargoyles and there was a crypt inside that we went into complete with coffins, etc.
After that, we ate delicious dinner at a little norman restaurant with this delicious alcoholic fizzy cider stuff, which apparently is normandy's claim to fame. Then, we went to the American Cemetery and D-day beaches, which were really depressing. Let me show you why:
Dead people everywhere. Somewhere around 9 or 10 thousand. We also trekked down to the beaches where all these people died, and happened to come across a man in full camoflauge gear pretending to be dead on the beach which was a bit strange, but I guess he was having a profound experience, which i suppose is not difficult in a place like that. From there, we went to this place called the Pointe du Hoc, which was a huge important german base thing during ww2 that the americans totally annihilated, leaving the landscape totally mangled with huge craters caused by bombs and pieces of army bunkers that were blown to smithereens. Quite creepy, i must say. Some of the bunkers were still partially intact so we were able to go inside them and look around a bit, and I was just waiting to step on a skeleton or something like that. Luckily, there were no dead bodies.
So as i said, the first thing we did on the second day was go to that tapestry, and then we traveled via bus to Honfleur, an extremely picturesque little Norman town. Our first stop was a cider mill where we had a delicious stereotypical french lunch of paté, baguette, and cheese, and did a bit of cider-tasting. I accidentally got attacked by a kitty cat, because in my desperation to satisfy just a smidgen of my animal-homesickness, i pushed the kitty who lived at the cider mill over the edge. one minute we were cuddling, and the next he was viciously biting and scratching my arm. I have some serious battle wounds, but it was well worth the small dose of kittycat love.
We then departed for the little downtown area of Honfleur:
It looked, as you can see, like disney world. We climbed up this big hill and got a fantastic panoramic view of the city, which i couldnt take a picture of because my camera died. My friends took pictures which i plan on stealing, however.
All in all, normandy was fabulous, and because i found a brochure that listed all the places to ride ponies in normandy, i might just have to go back for a second visit.
kate my lovely nurse friend comes to visit tomorrow (she was supposed to come today but the airport is a stupid, terrible place) and i am very excited to show her how knowledgeable i am about all things parisian.