The homepage and E-mail network for the Bailey family
In September we went to stay with Elizabeth and her family in France. Since my last visit, they had moved house and village. And no one was going to be there to let us in or give directions. (That evening te whole family were away at a French National Swimming Competition (they are all very good swimmers :P). Even worse, the ferry that I normally take from Portsmouth to Cherberg, was expensive - while the Portsmouth, Le Havre ferry was about a 1/3 of the price. SO I had opted for the strange route as well (It saved me nearly £200 on the crossing). And I didn't have any maps of France either. Thank you Yahoo. Using yahoo maps, I managed to get a map of the route from Le Havre to St Mere Eglise (where they now live) and its was even good enough that we only got lost once - and even then managed to get back on route fairly quickly. We left home Saturday morning - got to Elizabeth's late Saturday night, managed to find the darstardly well hidden key, and made ourselves at home.
Anyway - the family all turn up on Sunday and we went to watch Christopher play football for the local team in the French Cup (They lost - but then the opposition were a couple of divisions higher up the league).
Monday we went to see Mont St Michelle. An old favorite from my child hood. Its a small 'island' only reachable on foot by a man made causeway or at low tide, that was built up as a monastic town. Its fantastic. From some distance away it looks just like a fairy tale castle or city rising up out of the sea, or across the plains (all depends on where you looks from, of course.
When you get close you realize how well built it is and what a huge undertaking it must have been. Its fairly commercialized now, of course, but its still a great day out, that I would recommend to anyone. But - you can click HERE for more info on Mont St Michelle.
On the Tuesday, we went to see Bayeux, a very famous place in English/French history. In 1066 William of Normandy conquered England and became the English king known as William the Conqueror - he was the first of the Norman kings of England. His half-brother, Bishop Odo, who also came a-conquering, had a tapestry made to commemorate the event - and it still survives nearly 1000 years later. Like always we didn't get any pics of it - but you can read about it HERE if you want to.
We did, however, get a pic of the Church in Bayeux where we everyone thinks the tapestry would have been hung ...
Then we went to the beach - drove home along the coast and stopped off along the way. This whole area is redolent with historical interest. the beach we were playing on was used for D-Day landings - St mere Eglise, itself is famous for a parachute drop where one of the soldiers got caught up on the church spire .... its every where you look :)
Oh and they make excellent cider and calvados to. (Err that's cider with alcohol in for our American friends. Over here - Cider with no alcohol = apple juice :P)
Anyway - next day we came home. This time we forgot to take the digital camera, so we had been using a cheap one shot ordinary camera, and I just used the film up as we pulled into port.
The first picture shows a ferry coming the other way - co-incidentally, my mother and aunty Peggy were traveling out to see Elizabeth that day, and were somewhere on that ferry ....
Second one shows Portsmouth the naval dockyard - just about still after all the fleet reductions of the last couple of decades. I think its a destroyer in the foreground - with Nelson's HMS Victory in the background. Click HERE for more information on HMS Victory.
|Mont St Michelle