Monday, September 14, 2015

An Evening in Paris - Off to Bayeau

Biking in Normandy Day's 1 & 2

This fall Roadboy opted for a bike tour with friends in Normandy.  The itinerary allowed me one day / night in Paris before being picked up at our hotel by Vermont Bike Tours. 

Day 1:
Although time in Paris was limited one of our tour companions had arranged dinner at "58" in the Eiffel Tower followed by an evening cruise on the Seine.  They say that making a wish while passing under Pont Marie assures wishes will come true. 

After reading the grim 5-day weather forecasts for Normandy we wished for a true miracle - some sunshine over the next few days.

The Eiffel Tower During a "Twinkle" 

Dinner Begins at "58"

 A Marvel of Structural Steel 
The Eiffel Tower at Night

Day 2:
Sunday morning we enjoyed a rather spectacular breakfast at the Pullman Bercy (a hotel I'd now highly recommend), and met our fellow bikers. After which we all boarded our bus for the 3-1/2 trip to Bayeau.

Although my interest in Normandy grew from its geographic significance in WWII's Allied invasion, I (very quickly) came to realize Normandy and Bayeau enjoy a rich history well beyond their connection to D day. 

Bayeau is a treasure trove of architecture, shops, restaurants and museums. It was the first city in Normandy to be liberated after D-Day on June 7, 1944.  It is almost the only city in the Calvados region to have survived the war virtually intact..

Our first stop was a walk through the Bayeau cathedral.


The Bayeau Cathdral
 
 
Some of The Cathedral's Epic Gargoyles

It was time for lunch so we stopped in a bakery where I marveled at the artistry of French pastry and secured a ham and cheese baguette sandwich.

Examples of The Baker's Art


Enjoying Our Baguette Sandwiches

 A View of The Bayeau Canal

 Flowers are Everywhere
After checking into our hotel we set out to view the famous Bayeau Tapestry. 

Bayeau has been the front row seat for two major invasions almost 900 years apart. In 1066 it was the launching pad for William the Bastard's (William the Conqueror) invasion of Britain. William's bloody conquest is faithfully portrayed in the Tapestry.

We returned to our hotel to be fitted for our bikes.

Although the weather forecast has been calling for rain, rain and a little more rain, we enjoyed a sunny 11.4K warm-up ride.

Monday we set off to see the Arromanches (Gold) beach where the British forces landed and created Churchill's famous "Mulberry" harbor's. Tuesday we visit the American landing sites starting at Vierville (Omaha - Dog Green) Beach.


Roadboy's Travels © 2015

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