Thursday, August 07, 2014

France 2014 - Day 2 - Paris to Bayeux

Our second day in France, Sunday, was the official start of the trip with Vermont Bike Tours.  We had breakfast and then gathered outside to board the shuttle bus with our fellow travelers.

Our trip leaders would be meeting us in Bayeux 2.5 hours away.

Warning:  There will be A LOT of selfies during this trip.

After almost an hour of driving I couldn't stand the silence anymore, I was also driving Aimee crazy.  I walked to the front of the bus and introduced myself.  I led everyone through introductions which helped break the ice and started many conversations.  Our trip-mates would be Dylan & Vicki, Frank, Alex, Linda & Neil, Bob & Sharen, Jim, Joe, Rich & Maryanne, Gary & Sheila, Brenda and Tanya.

In Bayeux we met our trip leaders Bruno and Sophie.  From the very beginning this husband/wife team was friendly and looking forward to giving us the best trip possible.  As Bruno took our luggage to the hotel in town, Sophie took us around town for a small tour.  We had two days to experience the small town feel of Bayeux.
Mill wheel powered by the river that flows through town.

Bayeux of many we will see on the trip

Our group touring Bayeux

The first of many Yellow Cars we will see.

The history of Bayeux is very extensive but during the 70th Anniversary of D-Day it is important to know that Bayeux was liberated by the American forces on June 7th.   One day after the landing this town was reclaimed and the damaged was very minor.  Considering the amount of damage incurred at other towns due to bombings and deliberate destruction by the German Army, it was a miracle  Bayeux survived like it did.  The majority of buildings are original. 

After the tour we had some time to unpack, get some lunch and walk around the town on our own.  Aimee and I grabbed a ham & cheese baguette from a small shop and ate outside.  Walking back to the hotel we bought a meringue pastry that had a layer of cream filling.  The box it was packaged in felt empty as we walked out the door, but it was oh so delicious. 

We re-grouped and were fitted on our bikes.  Once Sophie and Bruno gave their safety talk we headed out for a quick 8 mile ride.
Bruno and Sophie

Ready to ride

Dylan (son) and Vicki (mom)

On bike selfie

Back at the hotel I made some minor adjustments to my bike and took it back out for a short ride through town.  This allowed me to get my bearings in the town on my own.  We still had time to kill so Aimee and I visited The Bayeux Tapestry.  This historic tapestry is 229 feet long, 19 inches high and relates the conquest of England by William the Conqueror, from 1064 to the outcome of the Battle of Hastings.  It is an impressive work of art and is listed as a "Memory of the World" by UNESCO.  There are so many details involved that the audio tour couldn't cover it all but told a great story.

Back at the hotel we had our first dinner together as a group.  Our hotel Le Lion d'Or took care of us with food and lodging just as it did for the English press during World War II. 

No comments: