Yesterday was ‘rancho relaxo’, and other than a bit of driving, so is today!
We are off to Bayeux, near the D-Day beaches, pretty much west of Chartres but to get there we first head north about 100kms…only a slight detour, to visit the most famous small garden in France, Monet’s Garden in the hamlet of Giverny.
Claude Monet, one of the leading Impressionist artists of his era, lived most of his life in a little farm house surrounded by glorious gardens in a tiny little village, inspired by its beauty to present the world with masterpieces such as his water lilies paintings.
This joint sure is popular, it was packed and only about 10.30 am! Another couple struggling through the throng told us it was the most crowded attraction they had encountered on their holiday, and that included Versailles!
Which incidentally was why we chose to come here, our other choice was Versailles but the horror stories of ‘selfie-stick’ hoards put us off.
It wasn’t too bad, just needed the tour groups to get ahead, as they cram so much into the day they can’t hang around anywhere too long.
The water gardens, including the lilies, are the most popular with millions of photos taken every hour.
We battled the crowds which can and went in waves, including half a dozen school groups all looking soooo excited to be there, and managed to have a few moments not knee deep in crowds to enjoy the lovely scenes before us.
The house was ho-hum, but the grounds are truly spectacular, and more than worth the detour.
Onward to Bayeux, which other than being a great place to base yourself for the D-Day beaches, is home to the most famous tapestry in the world.
You can imagine Rachael’s excitement when I told her this, then reminded her of this, then repeatedly told her about this.
That we were going to see this!!
This was too exciting for Rachael…..and she continually reminded me….for this!!
Nevertheless, guess what we did first upon reaching Bayeux?
Photos don’t do justice to the magnificence of the Tapestry, which is luck ‘cos photos aren’t allowed
….needless to say, it was pretty bloody impressive
….if I don’t say myself! Here’s a small sample courtesy of google images.
The Bayeux tapestry is over 1000 years old, runs to 70 metres long and tells the story, in intricate detail, of William the Conqueror’s successful battle of Hastings and his ascent to the throne of England.
Luckily, we joined the museum at precisely the same time as two school groups, plus a couple of cranky yanks, which was great as you walk slowly around the tapestry listening to an audiobook which follows the story, without breaks to take your time.
Like lemmings to the cliff we lurched along, shuffling in time with 100 bored 12 year olds all wishing they were anywhere but here, all the while straining to see the tapestry in all its glory….because it is pretty bloody amazing.
Even Rachael was impressed!
Maybe not as impressive as a cold beer, but pretty damn fine!
Seriously, this is a cultural iconic art piece, beautifully displayed, and well worth thirty minutes of your time.
We actually hung around for a bit longer!
To calm our excitement we headed to the Cathedral, surprisingly on prime real estate!
An impressive structure, a lovely old church which luckily survived the Second World War unscathed.
Art, Culture & Religion all covered today, time for a beer and dinner.