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.|
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.
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.
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.
We didn't see much of Bayeux because we were pretty tired by the time we checked in.
|The old meat market|
|And Jen found "her" cookies!|