Now we come to Normandy and the day of the trip I would like most to forget. Apparently French transit workers were on strike while we were there (this appears to be a national pastime) so our carefully coordinated trains, which would have allowed us to see Carenton, Bayeux, and St Lo before returning to Caen, were all muddled. We ended up stranded in Caen for a few hours waiting for the train to Bayeux and having to forgo Carenton and St Lo. Let’s just say that Tyler was NOT happy. This was the first time during the trip that the teenager in him came out. I ended up leaving him in the station while I walked around Caen and saw the Abbeys of William the Conqueror and his wife Matilda. By the time I returned an hour or so later he was in a better mood, especially when I brought him a thick, chocolate brownie.
Joan of Arc
We ate lunch at the station before getting on the (thankfully-actually-running) train to Bayeux. The town was small and quaint. We, naturally, visited the Bayeux tapestry, though sadly no photos were allowed.
We returned to Caen, walked around a bit, and found a Turkish restaurant for dinner. It was one of the better meals and the day was starting to look up….until we tried to find our hotel.
Our hotel was a bit away from the center of the city, so we couldn’t walk there. There were a couple of buses that went up that way and a tram which would get us closer to the bus, or so we thought. It turns out that the buses don’t run both directions all the time, so after waiting about 20-30 minutes for our bus we decided to take the tram and try to improvise. That was our first mistake. The map was misleading regarding the distance from the tram to the hotel, so we initially tried to walk. 20 minutes later, we realized our mistake and retraced our steps to the bus stop. We had to catch one bus to take us to a stop to catch the only bus that went in the general area where we needed to go. By this time it was after 8pm and there were only one or two buses an hour and the last bus of ours left at shortly before 10pm. Luckily we caught that one. I don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t, because there were no taxis around. By another stroke of luck the sun was still fairly high in the sky, so we weren’t wandering around in the dark. We got on our bus number 2 and took it to the correct stop. We knew we were in the right place because our hotel was supposed to be just down the street from the museum, which we found. Except we couldn’t find our hotel. We wandered and wandered and after 10-15minutes happened upon a friendly Asian local who spoke English and wandered with us until we found the hotel. Thank goodness for kind people. It was after 10pm and we were both crabby and tired, so we went to bed within a few minutes of checking in, hoping that the next day would be better.
Breakfast- chocolate croissant
Snack – apple filled croissant
Lunch- salad and yogurt
Dinner – Turkish Kofte and fries