Day 42 : Last day in France

One of the old barns at the farmhouse I am staying out now houses a heated swimming pool, so I was up early to take advantage of that. Then breakfast was at a large table with the other guests – an American couple and three French couples. After the Americans had left I managed to comprehend a large part of the French conversation and also contributed a little (in French!).  No doubt I’ll still continue to be saying ‘pardon’ after bumping into people when I get back to the UK.

After checking out I headed to Bayeux. I thought the cathedral was impressive.

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The organ sounded really good. I have a video clip it didn’t record well on my phone: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o8naTQmgfzQ (A decent digital sound recorder was on my list of things to take that didn’t make the final cut).

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I then popped to see the bayeux tapestry. No photos allowed, sorry! I think you have seen the pics before though..

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Afterwards I went to the British war cemetery.

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I then cycled up to the coast and cycled along the area of the D-Day landings and invasion. History becomes realistically imaginable when you are in situ.

 

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Seeing the geography of the region and the distances involved from the beaches to the defences brings everything to life.

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I  spent the afternoon cycling along the coast, visiting the various invasion sights. The following house came as a bit of a surprise though. It had a poem by Rabalais on the front of the house. There were lots of dragons on the side. Steer clear I reckon!

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I reached the port about 3 hours before my ferry was due. A man I had met at the British military cemetery had recommended I visit Pegasus Bridge, a key part of the D-day invasion so I cycled along the canal to Caen and back.

The canal is a nice cycle path. And it was a pleasant sunset. There was even a chunk of rainbow. A good omen?

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Here’s Pegasus Bridge (or rather a more recent replica):

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And here’s the café by the bridge which was possibly the first French house liberated on D-day. The owner of the café now was living as a small boy in the house on D-day.

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I saw two kingfishers, which are amazing to see in real life because of their vibrant colouring. I also saw a cormorant catch an eel and eat it. Not pleasant, as the eel was eaten alive and refused to give up quietly. The cormorant is just about to swallow the eel in the pic below:

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Then a nice sunset to conclude the holiday!

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And as I neared the ferry port, I passed this auspiciously named boat.

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I boarded the ferry as a foot passenger to avoid having to queue up with the cars. I’d booked a berth so was able to drop off my bike and bags and then head to the bar for a quick drink.

À tout à l’heure France!

Mosles to Ouisteham, 95 km. Total so far = 3,992 km.

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