Day 13 05/31/23
It was a wonderful morning! We did not have to wake up and get out of a tent to face the cold. Coffee in a nice big chair followed by some cereal with french milk, which is more like cream. We decided to take the day to kick around the town of Bayeux ; a city rich in war history and culture. It was the home of William the Conqueror who took back the thrown of England by force, from the usurper Howard.
We ventured off to see the Notre Dame Cathedral of Bayeux. The architecture is mind blowing. This sculpture of stone, created to the glory of God, took around 30 years to complete. Every stone had to be laid with perfection, there was no drywall mud and tape to cover over all the imperfections of today's devolution of craftmanship. Masterful is the appropriate word for these skilled laborers.
After the cathedral, I was suddenly hungry and we stopped in for some coffee and baked goods. Just so happened, a young guy from the Netherlands was sitting in the shop and he was dating the girl working behind the counter. They both happened to be WWII reenactors and shared a ton of great info with us. She in fact had moved from Prague to Bayeux for all the rich history of the area. I was very impressed at how young they were and yet loved history.
We then headed over to the Bayeux Tapestry which portrayed the epic adventure of William the Conqueror in 1066. The tapestry is one continuous 70 metre long (229 feet) embroidered piece of linen that tells the story of William's conquest. Each scene is numbered and narrated by a portable audio device. It was very informative.
Walking back to our BnB I was once again overcome with the pattisserie bug and immediately obeyed the inclination to buy some coffee cream filled eclairs. No worries we will ride it off tommorow as we head out to the American WWII Cemetary. So much for kicking back today!
Keep it rolling
Scott and Sarah
No riding today
Day 14 O6/01/23
Today we finally went to visit the American Cemetary at Omaha Beach. Because our Airbnb was 12 miles away we pedalled our way out to the coast from Bayeux. We passed the Bayeux War Cemetery. It is the largest Commonwealth cemetery of the Second World War in France and contains burials brought in from the surrounding districts and from nearby hospitals. Over 500 Germans are buried along with the British.
Passing along through small villages we both thought about our Fathers. Neither of them fought in WWII. My Dad was disqualified at the induction center because of asthma and Sarah's Dad got to serve just as the war ended. Both of them loved their country. We also wondered about the men that wandered these streets. Many of the same buildings still stand today and you can literally get a glimpse of what they must have seen when they came ashore.
At the American cemetary we took a free tour and learned a lot about the US and French cooperation to establish, keep and maintain the space for our fallen heroes. It is obviously one of those places that needs to be experienced. From the beach landing site, to the Wall of the missing and the gravesites themselves, the grounds honor the fallen with great reverence. As I walked along the rows of headstones I found myself thanking each young soldier who decided to give their life for me, for you, for us. True heroes, each and everyone.
We took a few pics of some of the walls that contained information specific to the landings. If you want to, you can resize them in order to read the info. The exhibit hall in the visitor was very well done and it all was free or should I say, paid for by our US tax dollars. So grateful!
Keep on rolling
Scott and Sarah
Rode 24 miles