I'm loving taking day trips out of Paris like Versailles and Fontainebleau. Yesterday's day trip took only 2 hours by train to Bayeux, Normandie. Instantly your whole frame of reference changes like stepping back in a time machine.
Go on a weekday and miss the lines and massive groups. You'll have the town to yourself.
The church is a must stop
After the obligatory look into a courtyard (a la Cara Black) I went on to forage for regional specialties. Shops close for lunch in these small towns while the museum stays open all day so treats come first like dessert.
A lovely Ciel Bleu patisserie
Where you can stop for tea and
A slice of tarte Normande/apple.
Would you believe 'D-Day' jam? Made of apple, pear, cider calvados and lemon.
After many tastings of caramel confit and Calvados in every variety including creamed I was ready to forget the Bayeux tapestries and just hang out.
I ended up with a lovely bottle of rhubarb jus with NO alcohol to speak of but major YUM.
Are these regal hounds waiting to get into the tapisseries?
Inside two more hounds of Baskerville embroidered on the tapestry...
70 meters long and from 1090ish.
You get an audio that describes every pictogram in the story of William the Great and Harold. The designs are riveting and completely contemporary in their sparse simplicity...oh what can one say other than pretty terrific!
Do not leave town without the essential Bayeux dishtowel (10 euros) though somehow I managed to. I'm still working on my Moulin Rouge dishtowel...
What to wear to Bayeux? Definitely not armor. You can probably get away with just about anything. Large groups of Brits coming over to catch their history in stitches so... As for lunch I'd recommend picking up something at the charcuterie on 8, bis, rue Larcher. Plus bread from the boulangerie. There are plenty of nice spots to sit outdoors by the museum and picnic. Most of the restaurants looked to be set up for large group seatings.
The railroad station is walking distance from town and easy to spot thanks to the traditional Hotel de la Gare (it looks like Inspector Maigret's kind of place).