Tag Archives: cathedral

Europe 2014 – Bayeux

From Paris, we took a train to Bayeux, a small town famous for a certain tapestry. After the hustle and bustle of two major cities (London and Paris), we were ready for some small-town ambience and relaxation. Bayeux would also serve as a great home base for exploring the nearby D-Day beaches.

We arrived in Bayeux, dropped our bags off at our wonderful bed & breakfast, and set out to explore the town. After a quick stroll, we arrived at the cathedral, the heart of Bayeux.

Bayeux is only 6 miles from the D-Day beaches, but incredibly, the city (and its magnificent cathedral) was spared destruction during WWII because a local chaplain made sure the Allied forces knew that Bayeux was not a German headquarters. The cathedral, dating back to 1077, is as large as Notre Dame in Paris, and absolutely dominates the city. Historians believe the Bayeux Tapestry originally hung in the nave, which is decorated with Norman geometric carvings.

Bayeux was the first city liberated after the D-Day landings, and there are memorial plaques all around the city to commemorate the victory and give thanks for the American and British troops.

We watched the sun set behind the cathedral, then headed to a cafe for onion soup, crepes, and wine. It was an incredible, relaxing day.

For more information on our Europe 2014 trip, check out these other blog posts:

  • 2 nights in Reykjavik  Hallgrimskirkja church, yummy food, and gorgeous scenery
  • London Part I – arrival in London, fish & chips, a snazzy pub, and the British Library
  • London Part II – walking tour of London highlights, Westminster Abbey, and an Irish pub
  • London Part III – St. Paul’s, Borough Market, and an incredible WWI memorial at the Tower of London
  • Paris Part Ia walk through Luxembourg gardens and sunset at the Eiffel Tower
  • Paris Part IIthree blockbuster sites: Notre Dame, Versailles, and Sainte Chapelle
  • Paris Part III – the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and Auguste Rodin museum
  • D-Day Beaches – paying tribute to the Greatest Generation
  • Mont Saint-Michel – an abbey on an island

Europe 2014 – Paris Part II

Our second day of Paris was full of sightseeing – I knew our plan to see Notre Dame, Versailles, and Sainte Chapelle in one day was pretty ambitious, and that we’d need serious fuel to get us through the day ahead. Around the corner from our hotel was a delicious bakery and a Starbucks, so those were our first stops that morning – 2 pain au chocolates and a croissant from la boulangerie and a tall latte from the ‘bucks set us up for success. (And don’t think I can’t hear you gasping, Starbucks in a foreign country? How utterly American of you! I know. It kind of crushed my soul too, but after reading in a reputable source that Parisian coffee is awful – with some exceptions – I opted to swallow my pride in favor nearby, palatable caffeine.)

Fortified with sugar and caffeine, we took the metro to the Châtelet stop and walked across the bridge to the Île de la Cité, the island in the Seine river that is the heart of Paris. We stopped to view the statue of Charlemagne the Great, and then joined the mass of tourists waiting in line to enter the Cathedral.

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