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.