My guide Jacques was waiting for me at Bayeux train station. Very little time was wasted as we had a full itinerary today to cover.
Our first stop was Sainte Mère Eglise, the famous church where the American paratrooper, John Steele, was hooked onto the bell tower. (His parachute is still there hooked to the steeple!). From there we visited Pointe de Hoc where you can see the bomb craters and the German sleeping quarters, then onto Omaha Beach where you can still see German guns at the ready pointing towards the ocean.
Our final stop was the American Cemetery which Jacques always leaves till the end to show his visitors. It was truly a sight. With over 9,000 graves, each with a white marble cross stone, it was a beautiful site. Not being American myself, I was still moved by the sheer number of crosses symmetrically positioned facing the ocean. The location of this cemetery is what is so special about the place I think, on a cliff top with views over Omaha Beach. A perfect final resting place. Jacques was the perfect guide, very enthusiastic, he loves what he does and is a real people person.
I decided to spend the weekend and the following day I went to see the Bayeux Tapestry. Dating back over 1,000 years, this wool embroidery still exists for us to see today. How it has survived to this day is extraordinary. It’s mind boggling this immense tapestry, measuring approx 64.38 cms in length and roughly 50 cms in width, was done over 1,000 years ago. It illustrates the story of William the Conqueror and the Norman invasion of England, complete with boats, horses, armory, battles, truly unbelievable, it really needs to be seen to be believed. This tapestry would have to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my travels.
Bayeux itself is a pretty little town, definitely worth a visit.