Wednesday, July 13, 2016

France Trip - Day 10- 6/25 - Dinan to Mount St Michel to Bayeux

I checked out of La Maison Pavie while the girls got the car and drove it back.  We had to turn the car garage card back to the house so I waited in front.  The choir was practicing in the basilica so I enjoyed listening to them in the meantime. It was a very nice way to say good-by to Dinan.

We left and headed for Mount St. Michel.  Since we didn't get sandwiches in Dinan like we had planned, we stopped off at a buffet before we got to our destination.

As we got our first glimpse of Mount St. Michel it was so beautiful and amazing.  I can't even think of how they built on the island, let alone such extensive building and with the tools of centuries ago!  Then, just think of hauling all the building materials and supplies across the water!

The first church was built on the island in 709.  In every century since then until the 15th century big changes were added.  The city walls were added in the 14th century during the 100 year war to protect it from the English.  They figured it could withstand a 30 year siege.

It was turned into a prison at the time of the French Revolution.

Since the 11th century Mount St. Michel has been a site for pilgrimages.

 On the top of the church steeple there is a golden statue of St. Michel.  It is really beautiful in the sunshine!

Since the island is in the middle of a bay, it is subject to tidal action.  It is site of the fastest and highest tides.  People have gotten caught in the tide as there are strong currents also.  So... they have signs with the tide tables for the day.  Many people go out on the beach when the tides are out.

Once inside the first gate, there a short way to the second gate.  The second gate is a smaller gate with a drawbridge.  The door on the gateway has a very small door.  All security measures.

The big door on the gateway has a very small door.  All security measures.

The streets are all very narrow, all leading upward.

More steps uphill!
Up there is the goal.

Meanwhile, there are beautiful views!

After still more stairs, over half way up, we decided to give up the goal with the health of our knees in mind!  So we started down.

We did take to time to do a bit more shopping and trying out our French!

I really enjoyed our visit to Mount St Michel and I am glad we did have a chance to see it.  It was not crowded and I think if I get the chance to visit again I would stay on the island and spend several days.

Bayeux, here we come!

Bayeux is a town that is very close to the Invasion Beaches of World War II.  Cathy's father-in-law landed near Omaha Beach by parachute so we especially wanted to pay him homage by visiting that area.  Tomorrow we will go to Omaha Beach.

We are staying at Hotel D'Afgouges tonight.  This is another place with a tiny archway to get to it.

The hotel is an 18th century mansion.

Bayeux was the first town to be liberated in Continental France. The town was freed on 7th June 1944 by units of the British army.
The Germans had fled the town on 6th June 1944. Local Resistants managed, in the nick of time, to inform the Allies, who abandoned their plans to bombard the town: Bayeux was saved.
Situated close to the landing beaches and saved from any bombardment, Bayeux became a crossroad for the transit of soldiers and civilians. It was also the place which de Gaulle chose to re-establish the basis of Republican Law. 

The hospital

Because Bayeux had not been bombarded, the infrastructures and the hospital were operational. These could accommodate not only the Allies but also refugees fleeing the battles. Many injured civilians and soldiers took refuge in the hospital. Very quickly a need for additional hospitals arose. The Seminary - which houses today the Bayeux Tapestry - and schools were requisitioned. Bayeux henceforth became a hospital-town for the whole duration of the Battle of Normandy.

Bayeux, a strategic location

Bayeux was a strategic location for the Allies: thousands of soldiers and vehicles went through Bayeux to get to the battle scenes. Military vehicles could not use the narrow street of the medieval city. To facilitate the movement of equipment, Allied Engineers built a ring-road around the city: the by-pass.
Bayeux held a major role for the whole duration of the Battle of Normandy.

We didn't see much of Bayeux because we were pretty tired by the time we checked in.
The old meat market
 We did go off to dinner and found this cute little mill.
And Jen found "her" cookies!

The church was pretty impressive too - they hung their soccer team flags on the steeple. (Remember the World Soccer Championships are still going on!)

We ate at a "British" Pub and it was a lively time with the game and all!


Our Days Itinerary

June 25 ~ Saturday ~ Day 10 ~Mt. St. Michel, Bayeux
9:00ish ~ leave for Mount St. Michel Map 10.1, 10.2
10:00ish ~ arrive at Mount St Michel Map 10.3 Close-up map
Accessing the Mont-Saint-Michel parking area by car
The parking area can be accessed via the following roads:
  • A11 towards Le Mans/Laval, exit at Fougères then head towards Mont-Saint-Michel
  • A13 towards Caen, then A84 towards Mont-Saint-Michel
Within the framework of this renewed maritime character, visitors arriving by car can park their vehicle in the large parking area. As soon as you arrive, you will be directed to the parking section dedicated to private cars (lower than 5 m).

       Inside the walls: 
       at the entrance of the village (Cour de l'Avancée), at the top of the main street (close to the parish church) 
       and in the abbey.
       for disabled people, in the main street, on the right after the drawbridge.
       Outside the walls:
       close to les Galeries du Mont Saint-Michel and on the veolia car park.

Lunch -Food:  Eat sandwiches we packed from day before when we purchased them from La Mei Caline in Dinan
3:00ish ~ Leave for Bayeux (1.5hours) Map 10.4, 10.5
4:30ish ~ arrive at Hôtel d'Argouges

Booking confirmation - Reference: J4PCJM - Hôtel d'Argouges

Mrs. Jennette Borcic,

Many thanks for your booking. We are happy to advise that it is now confirmed.

Please print out this e-mail in case you need to present it upon check-in.

Hôtel d'Argouges ***BAYEUX

Check-in: Saturday, June 25, 2016
Check-out: Sunday, June 26, 2016
Length of stay:
1 night
Rate: Public rate
Public rate - AMEX NOT ACCEPTED -

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