27 Dec 43km/h winds Going from Caen to Avranches
It is another Saturday in Europe! We set off from Caen on a very cold, dark Saturday morning, all raring to do. We were Bayeux bound ( promounced ‘Bayer’ ) , a 30 minute drive down the expressway northwest of Caen.
Bayeux Tapestry opens at 9.30am and we were the first few to enter the premises. The window to visit was very tight – the Tapesterie opens from 9.30am-11.45am and that it operates everyday except on Christmas, Boxing Day and towards the end of the year. In that sense, we were in that narrow window and the timing couldn’t have been more critical.
It was a very interesting visit and we learnt a great deal of how William the Conqueror , Duke of Normandy and successor to Edward the Confessor as King of England, overcame Harold in a fierce 14 hour battle at Hastings. The event was depicted on a 70m embroidered linen scroll. After William and his soldiers took hold of England and was crowned King, he took land from the English peasants and gave it to his generals ( Lords ) , introducing the feudal system. The Tower of London was built by William as a defensive mechanism against their enemies.
Lunch was at La Garde Manger Creperie. Food was pretty good and 3 crepes and water ran up a bill of €40. By now, it was sunny but bitterly cold. Still I persisted and we drove to the nearby British Museum where British soldiers died in combat on D Day. The personal messages engraved on the tombstones were heartwrenching. An inscription across the cemetery said ‘We once conquered by William has now set free the conqueror’s native land ‘.
It was another hour on the highway, flying by windmills and countryside to Avranches. But before that was a stretch of narrow department road that only allowed one car to pass. It was rather frightening.
Our next BnB was at 6 La Butte ( Elham Ricoux ) and the proprietor was having a siesta when we came. The room was €130 for 2 nights but they charged H as a third occupant ( €15 per night ). All these were not mentioned in the contract or booking.com. We lived on the roof unit in a tiny room with roof window and an unheated toilet with an even smaller shower stall. If we discount the fact the internet connection was very poor, everything was acceptable.
The Jardins , within walking distance, gave a superb view of the marshes with Mont St Michel as a tiny blip on the sunkissed marshes. 6 months into the planning and I finally get to see it in the flesh.
Avranches village center is small but bustling. It does not look very inhabited but there were lots of cars parked in the street. We had tea and tarts at Boulangerie (€11 ) watching the sun set behind the abbey.
|Grouchy service, good food.|