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bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

washington, d.c.
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bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

arrived in bayeux via calais (ferry and train from london) the only part of trip i would do differently would be to take chunnel from london to calais..we tried booking too late..all good prices were gone..only real problem though was the ferry..there were labor disputes so we were late leaving both ways..that having been said, normandy is fabulous..we drove from calais to bayeux..about 3 hours and roads were great..stayed at hotel churchill (lovely) in bayeux and had a private 6 hour tour of beaches which the hotel arranged for us..everything that has been said about visiting the beaches is true..extremely moving and fascinating for a history buff..drove to mt st. michel (about 90 minutes)..incredible sight..spent most of a day there..st lo on the way back to bayeux..drove on the coast one day to honfleur about an hour from bayeux but since we took coast road through deauville etc it was longer but well worth it..the towns on the coast are beautiful..all in all, spent 4 days in normandy..very restful after london..bayeux is a gem..when not seeing the beautiful countryside and magnificient sights, i spent most of my time eating pastries, bread and cheese which i treat like poison when i am home..meals were simply an excuse for me to get to the breads and desserts..a month in that country and my clothing would be designed by omar the tentmaker..back home now (usa)and my first purchase will be the new book "french women don't get fat"..how do they do it ?? a memorable trip

Providence, RI
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1. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

Elen, ANy suggestions for myself and my 13 yo son? I will be arriving in Caen late AM. The first day I will either see the Caen Memorial Museum or ride the countryside before arriving in Bayeau. The next day is dedicated to the D day beaches and the 3rd Am we are off to Mont St. Michel. He is a bright kid and enjoys learning, but he is a kid. So I don't know if seeing Caen Museum and D day beaches two days ina row is too much. so I thought about traveling in the countryside, but not sure how to go about it. I did find a booklet regarding drives in Normandy which don't "look" too far from Bayeaux. Have you heard or do you know anything about Them? Maybe if you don't mind sharing your email address I could ask you more personal questions. Thanks Sharon

New Orleans...
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2. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

Travelbuddy,

I think your son will be fine. The museums are generally very good with lots of original artifacts. There are also many smaller private museums. There is a muesum in Bayeux with what I am told was Patton's tank out front (could be BS) It's across the street from the British Cemetary. I recommend the museum of underwater artifact near the coast on the road from Bayeux. There are a couple of Double Drive Tanks there. Once at the coast, drop down to the beach near the memorial to the 1st Inf Div. Try to imagine crossing 300 yards of open beach. Go back up the bluffs and turn into the American Cemetary. Continue along the coast until the end of Omaha Beach and look at the gun emplacements and how they covered the beach. Then go to Pont du Hoc. After that, if there is time, cut over to St. Mere Eglise and see the Parachute Museum.

PS: As for the tapestry....At the begining of the exhibit they have a reproduction with a detailed description of the tapestry and the history of the period. This can take a long time as everyone stops to read it. To save time, by pass this part and go straight to the real tapestry. Get the headphones and you will have enough explanation.

New Orleans...
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3. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

Further to my earlier post: The museum is "The Museum of D Day Wrecks" in Port-en-Bessen. It's on the right hand side on the road from Bayeux just before the traffic circle. Look for the tanks.

Providence, RI
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4. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

Thanks so much. This is the type of information I am looking for. Travelbuddy

New Orleans...
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5. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

When I was in Normandy last year I picked up a brochure that gave several driving routes, each one pertaining to a different phase of the Battle of Normandy. You can probably find them at any tourist information stand or most hotels. But the route I described, from Bayeau to Colville sur Mer to Vierville sur Mer to Pont du Hoc to St Mer Eglise can be covered easily in one day. One addition you might want to make is a visit Arromanche at the beginning. It has a very good panoramic museum and you can see the remnants of the temporary harbors.

Your son will get plenty of excercise climbing the old gun emplacements, especially at Pont du Hoc which has been left exactly as it was ofter D Day. If you can, try to get off the main roads and get a flavor for the true nature of the bocage.

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6. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

Just returned from 3 days in Normandy and three in Paris. Stumbled on Isigeny sur mer.Wonderful little town a slightly modern version of Honfleur.Incredible pasteries.Later found out its famous for supplying butter,milk and cheese to a large area of France...no wondereverything was so good.In city center just to the left of the bank with cash machine two supurb bakeries and food shops.Check out Le Ducrie as a place to stay. While young children are not permitted your son is old enough and would proably get a kick out of staying in a real castle and the price is right.We rented the very smallest ,absolute cheapest car Thrifty had at the Paris airport and it was a very new,four door,desiel and had loads of room for all our stuff with the back seat folded down.Have a great trip.

Wisconsin
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7. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

How does one find out information about staying at the hotel La Ducrie? I have searched the websites and can't find a link to that hotel/bb. Can reservations be made online? We are travelling as a group of 10--maybe this hotel would not be able to accomodate us? Any other suggestions for a group? We plan to spend all day in the Normandy area, spend the night there also, then drive to Perigeaux/Riberac where we will meet up with our French friends who live there. We have been to the beaches once before but only had half of a day to spend. We had rented a car in Paris, drove to Normandy (got very lost along the way as we tried to follow highway numbers--learned quickly to follow city signs instead). I think it took us about 2 1/2 hrs to drive to the area from Paris. It was a nice drive--roads are good, traffic not too bad in early June. We will be there this time in mid-June. Sounds like you have the same tastes as far as food goes--just can't seem to find bread as good here in the States as in France!!

New Orleans...
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8. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

Blahblah:

www.la-ducrie.com

It's not a hotel but a private residence/B&B which also happens to be a 500 year old castle.

Los Angeles
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9. Re: bayeux, beaches and coast..trip was great

BlahBlah:

Just got back from Normandy, France and stayed at

La Ducrie. I cant say enough good things about

Joe & Viv. This is the nicest B&B I've been at.

The place is a 13th century Norman castle! The

accomadations are excellent. Breakfast every

morning. Joe is a excellent guide and you save alot

of time hiring him for the tour. It's easy to get lost!

On practical side has washing machine and dryer

(you do your own laundry :>).

Give yourself at least a day for the americian beaches.