Being on vacation has rendered me rather useless at writing; my apologies! I hope this long post will make up for it.
I’ve stayed busy this week, though, continuing to go on little excursions in the region. My fellow assistant and new BFF Daniela and I spent Wednesday afternoon at an English tea shop in Caen, blinking back true food lovers’ tears as we noshed down our scones and cream.
On Friday, another assistant, Jonathan, joined Dani and me on a day trip to Bayeux. Long time readers will remember that I visited Bayeux and the surrounding area for a long weekend while studying in Tours; you can go back to those posts for more detail here.
Bayeux, a major tourist destination because of its proximity to the D-Day beaches, is just a half-hour train ride from here, and makes for a lovely afternoon out of town! We began our day with lunch at a cozy little restaurant about fifty paces from the cathedral, and it was glorious. A salad, galette, crepe with Nutella, and cider for 9 euros? Don’t mind if I do.
Does this meal look familiar? Traditional Normande meals don’t change much from year to year!
We also spent some time wandering around the cathedral and the Bayeux Tapestry. I won’t bore you with the details of things I’ve already described, but I will state the obvious by saying that it was a far different experience to visit these places with friends than to go alone. In the dark recesses of the cathedral, the three of us discussed how creepy/cool crypts are, and Dani and I had mini medieval dance breaks to the music that played through our audio tour headphones while viewing the tapestry. Altogether quite different from passing the hours internally debating the morals of war and religion.
Stretching toward the light
My two companions being British, I wanted to make sure that they saw the British Cemetery and War Memorial. I’d already been to these places, but I was anxious to see their reactions. Just as my tour companions last year were somewhat gentle with me as we entered the American Cemetery, I lingered behind Jonathan and Dani as they meandered through the rows of headstones. Again, a sobering experience for all.
“We who were once conquered by William have now liberated the Conquerer’s homeland” One thing I didn’t notice on my last trip to Bayeux: this phrase at the British Memorial. I’m highly impressed by the Brits’ ability to lightly insult medieval France in Latin.
On Saturday, Dani and I met up with my friend V-A and his buddy Alex to check out some of their favorite spots in town. After some offroading in the guys’ massive firetruck of a car, we were able to step out onto a very Lion King-esque rock and see the fields below.
Getting a better view with Dani
Looking out over miles of farmland. Not a bad view. Thanks to VA for these two photos!
I’ve been having unholy amounts of fun with everyone here; while I wasn’t initially too keen to have a break after having just arrived, I’ve been happy to have lots of time to forge relationships and do exciting things this week. Life is good; vacation is great; and France is wonderful.