From Le Mont Saint-Michel we drove to Bayeux. We had a pleasant drive, on good roads. The weather was a little bit chilly with a light rain.
Sure… we were as close of England as one can get…. so… the weather was similar to the real “English weather”. 🙂
After searching on Tripadvisor for hotels “in” or “around” Bayeux we discovered that Etap was an excellent option with very clean rooms, free parking and close to Bayeux’s city center. We booked Hotel Etap Bayeux over the internet.
We were happy to confirm that Tripadvisor reviewers were right. The room was modern, very clean and there was a huge free parking lot. My unique concern, is that although the room is air conditioned (a brand new split on the wall), the air conditioner was not working! My husband went downstairs to complain and the receptionist told him that the air conditioners are turned OFF in the whole hotel if the weather does not require them. So… they are the ones to judge if you feel like wanting to use air conditioner or not! Insane, isn’t it?
During the day the absence of air conditioner was not a “big deal” because we spent the whole day exploring Normandie’s sites and also because it was quite chilly.
The problem was during the night: There were insects flying around our window and the illuminated sign displaying the hotel’s name attracted dozens of wasps. We had to open just a small portion of the window and could not turn the lights on (to read or to walk around the room) because if we did that, the wasps would fly inside our room.
So… I would say that if the air conditioner could be turned ON, Etap Bayeux would have been a perfect hotel to stay while visiting Bayeux. Without air conditioner, I must say I would not return to Hotel Etap Bayeux and I can’t recommend the place.
At the side of Etap Hotel there’s a restaurant specialized in barbecues. Food there was good and the prices were honest. It was very convenient to have a nearby place to have dinner when returning from our daily excursions.
Hotel Etap Bayeux offers breakfast (paid separately) but we did not have breakfast there. The room where breakfast is served mixes with the reception area and it is very small. There were dozens of people there: They belonged to a large group of excursionists that were traveling by bus. Anyway, we usually prefer to “shop around” for breakfast and we found an excellent place on Bayeux’s main street where the baguette with bam and cheese was spectacular.
The receptionists at Etap Bayeux were very friendly (although they barely speak English) and they gave us a special place to store our bikes inside the hotel, close to the reception area.
As soon as we got rid of our luggage we went to Downtown Bayeux (approximately 5 miles away) where it was very easy to find a free parking spot for our Citroen C3 (leasing vehicle by Citroen Champs de Mars).
Bayeux is probably the best well preserved city in Normandy. Looking to the monuments, houses, etc you can not imagine that the Second World War happened here / around here.
Bayeux ’s Cathedral is astonishing beautiful and huge. I was very happy to notice that my protector Saint was the first one I saw there and also that he has a very special place inside the Cathedral.
We took many pictures inside the Cathedral and they can be seen on our Flickr page. Please see the link at the end of this post.
We waited a few minutes for the Tourism Office to open (everything in the city gets closed during lunch time __ the popular “siesta”). When we were able to enter in the Tourism Office building we got maps and other useful information about the city.
Having a map in our hands, we went to explore the charming streets of Bayeux. Probably due to the weather _ light rain almost daily, we were delighted to see the beautiful gardens and deep green grass. Sometimes the landscape was very similar to the ones we saw in the Cotswolds the year before!
Bayeux charming Architecture
Like most of the tourists that go to Bayeux we went to visit the uber-famous Bayeux Tapestry.
The tapestry of Bayeux is world famous and it is almost 70 meters long! It describes the events that happened during the conquest of England by the Normans. The tapestry consists of dozens of scenes embroidered on linen. It was done in England around the 1070s. The tapestry was rediscovered in 1729 and was on display annually in Bayeux Cathedral. Today it stays on display at Musée de la Tapisserie (Tapestry Museum, Bayeux, Normandy, France).
The tapestry rests inside a protected glass in a room with dim light. No photographs allowed inside the display room. When you buy your tickets to view the tapestry you receive a headphone (many languages available) and you will hear about each scene on display. The museum is very interesting and I do recommend that you visit Bayeux Tapestry while visiting the region.
After visiting the Bayeux’s Tapestry we went once more to walk around the city.
Where to eat in Bayeux: Searching Tripadvisor we found the restaurant that was rated # 1 for the best food in Bayeux: La Rapiere. Once more, Tripadvisor is our great companion during our travels! Thanks to all readers that take their time writing good (and sometimes bad) reviews about the places!
Food can’t be better, family service can’t be better, ambiance can’t be better. Prices? Reasonable for the excellent food & service! This is a place we will miss and if we go to Bayeux again in the future, for sure we will return to La Rapiere!
Best food in Bayeux: Restaurant Rapiere
Address: 53 Rue St Jean 14400 Bayeux, France Phone: 02 31 21 05 45
After eating very well we were feeling as “kings of the universe”. We drove to Omaha Beach to visit one of the most important places during the Second World War.
I felt very proud to see the American flag there. If the allied army where not clever and brave enough, the world as we know it today could be a very different, and worse place to live!
Omaha Beach Museum
This is the place where the German soldiers stayed throwing bombs against the allied
There is a big pier at Omaha Beach and when we walk all the way along it we have a magnificent view, as if we were on a boat at sea.
When walking up on the hill we can visit the places where the German artillery stood waiting for the invaders.
The German soldiers had a privileged view of Omaha Beach. It is unbelievable how brave the allied were to disembark in such circumstances! If you have been to the war there or have a family member who was fight against German you should be really proud. Only staying there a person is able to understand the geography and how difficult it could be to invade Normandy coming from the sea.
From Omaha Beach we drove to Arromanches were we saw the D-Day Beach and war artifacts.
So peaceful now… can’t imagine the terror that happened here during the D-Day (June, 6th, 1944).
When you are at Arromanches you should visit the Circular Theatre. It’s a theatre that shows the cities and scenes during the war. It is presented on all walls (the room is constructed in a circular shape).
After the movie we went walking down the hill and had this great view of Arromanches beach.
Peaceful views of the English Channel after watching the movie about the Second World War.
After a busy sightseeing day that started with Bayeux main attractions in the morning and ended at Arromanches Beach by the end of the afternoon, we returned to our hotel where we took a shower and went to have dinner at the BBQ restaurant located at the side of our hotel.
If you would like to see more pictures we took while there, please visit our Flick Gallery!
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