Saturday April 27

Trip Start Apr 18, 2013
Trip End Jul 09, 2013

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Flag of France  , Normandy,
Saturday, April 27, 2013

Ashleigh's Birthday today.

I have fallen in love with St Malo. It is an incredible place. The amazing city wall and fortifications and the difference in the tide level. In the afternoon you can walk to the two castles on the rocks and other times they are castles on islands surrounded by rough angry sea. Just awesome.

We had breakfast in one of the crepe cafes. We then had a final look at the Saint Malo waterfront and the tide was in. We had to find a shop to buy a map of France as our Vectone and Vodafone sims are not working. We left Saint Malo for Bayeux.

We found that if we set our location on Apple Maps while we still had wifi connection then it worked if we stayed in course. Thank goodness that the Maps App guided us out of St Malo. We even saw the bridge open to let the boats through like the one at Outer Harbour.

We decided to deviate from our course and see Mont Saint Michel. It is an incredible castle also on a rock island in a tidal area similar to Saint Malo. They were going through major construction to build roadways to cope with the tidal conditions.

Mont Saint-Michel (English: Saint Michael's Mount) is a rocky tidal island 247 acres in size, and is a commune in Normandy, France. It is located approximately one kilometre (just over half a mile) off the country's north-western coast, at the mouth of the Couesnon River near Avranches. The island's highest point is 92 metres (301 feet) above sea level. The population of the island is 44, as of 2009. The island has held strategic fortifications since ancient times, and since the eighth century AD been the seat of the monastery from which it draws its name. One of France's most recognisable landmarks, Mont Saint-Michel and its bay are part of the UNESCO world heritage list.

It was cold and raining, 9 Celsius. It was definitely worth the deviation and losing the use of The Maps App.

On to Bayeux.

We arrived and parked. The car parks near the city centre are free with a limit of four hours. The French have a parking cardboard gadget for their cars so you can put it on the dashboard and set it for the time that you arrived (to measure the four hours). How nice. The Police also respect drivers in France! Australian Police could learn some respectful behaviours from the European system.

Our route took us directly to the tapestry museum, an unassuming building in a back street. But inside it was very impressive. The tapestry is like the first picture comic. It has panels with text and pictures. It was used as an aid to remember and tell the story of William the Conqueror.

It is stretched out over 70 m on a U shape. As we went in, our hand held audios started. We could pause them if we wanted but we just let them run. The tapestry is really the first ever comic. It has panels and words describing what the panel is showing. It was created for the simple folk so that would not forget the amazing feat of William who conquered England. Each panel has a picture and text. The text might read (in Latin) things like HERE IS HAROLD WEARING ALLEGIANCE TO WILLIAM
This is 1066, it was the last time that England was successfully invaded. When the Brits landed in Normandy (Bayeux) at the end of the Second World War they put up a monument that reads NOW THE CONQUERED LAND AND LIBERATE THEIR CONQUERERS . Amazing that the feeling still runs so deep.

Then we found our B & B which after a lot of driving around proved to be a stones throw for our first car park. The house was amazing. See pictures.

We settled in. Did a bit of washing which we hung on the towel warmer in the enormous bathroom and then went out to look at Bayeux. We walked into the main street (one block away) stopped at a pub for a beer and cider. We bought baguettes, croissants, ham, pâté, cheese, seafood layered cake, celeriac salad and Bordeaux wine and went back to our B&B to eat it. On our way back we realised that we did not have plates or cutlery. We then had to walk 20 minutes to an 'Express' Supermarket and 20 minutes back! When we were nearly back we realised that we did not have a corkscrew. Blimey! Ron went into a Bar and asked the Bar Tender to open our bottle of wine. Awkward! We certainly earned our supper.
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Paul on

Travelling in France without a corkscrew! Blimey indeed! Sacré bleu! Incroyable! It beggars belief :-)

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