Thursday 9th November
After a lazy morning still recovering from the long and tiring day we decided to go to Bayeaux to see the famous tapestry. After parking the smart car and wandering through the ancient town centre we arrived at the museum just in time for their lunch hour 12.30 – 2pm oh bum we forgot the French love for lunch! We decided to visit the cathedral which had been recommend to us as a ‘must see’ and spent a pleasant 45 minuets looking at the stained glass windows and the amazing architecture. We lit a candle for the soldiers who gave so much to free this town and we left with a real feeling of well being and calm plus very very cold hands. It was freezing in there.
I snapped a few shots of the windows and gargoyles and after we left we went to pick up a few essentials at the nearest L’ Eclerc before going back to the Museum.
€9.50 each to get in but the tapestry was amazing to view made really interesting by the lighting and audio tour explaining each part of the story. I came here with my Mum and Dad when I was a pre adolescent youngster and at the time it had no audio tour and the whole tapestry was stretched out around three walls. You just went had a look and I didn’t really get it I was mainly trying to find the arrow in the eye bit and found it boarding ( perhaps that was my age). This time the journey was much slower and I took in so much. The quality of the tapestry bearing in mind it is nearly 1000 years old is astonishing. A quick cinema show after cleared up the outstanding questions and I for the first time realised that Harold was actually the ‘baddy’ in the story.
A quick drive took us to Arromanches where the allied troops built a huge temporary harbour by floating concrete sections over and binding them together. (How on earth do you float concrete?)
We walked along the promenade but the wind and cold had the better of us and a hasty retreat back to Catori followed. Wine uncorked cheese getting to room temperature and fresh French bread finished the evening.
Friday 10th November
The quiet was deafening. I lay in bed with a pre dawn blue haze from the sky seeping through the front skylight and all was silent. That was just before I dozed off again only to be rudely awoken a little later by a “Cocker-doodle-doo”. Mr cockerel quickly woke all the chickens ducks and geese and it was suddenly a chaos of noise.
We had decided to move on today as we felt that we had seen as much of Bayeaux as we wanted to and miles needed to be knocked off of the journey. We had circled Fougerés as an interesting town to visit and it was about a two hour drive. We left the lovely Aire feeling guilty as the owner had not come back the previous evening as she said she would to collect her €24 for two night stay and there was nowhere to leave it. Just after 11.30 we slowly pulled away. It was a great Aire and fully worth the €12 a night including electric, water, w.c & grey water dump. The €24 will be spent somewhere else I am sure.
Margret the sat nav took Catori the motorhome into town and tried to send her down a small road under a 2.4m bridge. Lucky I noticed the height restriction on the roundabout and made another circuit of it before going back the way we came. Later we were sent off down a very narrow road with a 3.8m restriction on it. Whilst we are only 3.4m high it is still a bit daunting. Feeling that something was amis I pulled over to check her settings only to find that she was set to Sunny the Smart cars profile. We changed her profile to Catori’s measurements we had no further issues and at 2pm arrived at the Free Aire in the Fougerés Chateaux car park. GPS n48.35524 w.00121130
After a bite to eat (soup and toast, we know how to live it up) we walked to the castle and circumnavigated its lofty walls popping through a small entrance to see four waterwheels in a line working at full throttle. Further round we noticed that there were two goats on a patch of scrub land between the castle walls and the moat. With no means of escape (unless goats swim) they seemed to be the castles captive resident lawn mowers.
The sunshine disappeared and rain started to fall so we hastily made a retreat to the van before heading off to the L.eClerc to try to find a small television bracket and satellite cable. I actually impressed myself by asking an assistant in French “do you have a bracket for a small television”. I was even more surprised when he seemed to understand and took me straight to the display. Bracket purchased we returned home to install it. The tv now sits on the wall on a movable bracket so doesn’t need to be packed away every time we move plus we can now use it when we don’t have Electric hook up as it is near a 12v socket and it frees up the small table to be able to eat from – Result – we just hope it stays on the wall!
Molly needed an evening walk and it gave me an excuse to go back out with the camera to photo the castle at night. The goats were still there, snuggled into each other getting some sleep before another day of weed munching. The Aire was full on our return and it just goes to show what a valuable resource motorhomes bring to the towns and villages that have Aires as all of them will be spending their money in shops restaurants and bars.
Tomorrow we go to Nantes another two hours south.