Baileymail

The homepage and E-mail network for the Bailey family

France

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


Bayeux


The Beach


Portsmouth Harbour