Happy Cows Come From Normandie
I was obsessed with the sky in Normandie.
I took the train from Paris to Bayeux last Friday to spend the weekend driving around the countryside, marveling at wheat fields and puffy clouds and red, red poppies. And cows. Happy, happy cows. No wonder Normandie butter is so good.
The train is the only way to travel in Europe. Never mind avoiding airport security and the hour-long trip from Paris to Charles de Gaulle — I do it so I can easily bring my own snacks and drinks on board. Resorting to Starbucks is less of a sin than drinking the terrible coffee from the catering car.
Bayeux is a sleepy little town with a big cathedral and a long, old tapestry. Travel tip: if lost in a small town in Europe, look up. The tallest thing is probably the church, which is probably in the center of town.
Our hotel turned out to be a bed-and-breakfast located on the second floor of a cider and calvados shop. The proprietors of the B&B also owned the cider shop and several acres of apple orchard from which they make their excellent cider, calvados, and apple jelly.
We rented a car so we could get to all the small towns along the coast, and I’m so glad we did. We had some scares driving down one-lane roads with no idea if there was a car coming the other way around the next curve, but we got to see so much more than if we had gone by bus. There really are fields full of red poppies there. And amber waves of grain.
We visited Omaha Beach and the Ranger Monument and the American Cemetery. Moving.
Making our way to Mont Saint Michel, we stopped for a dinner of fresh coastal seafood. Plateau de fruits de mer is a Normandie specialty.
Oh, Mont Saint Michel. I regret not visiting you for longer. The sun was setting, our travel companions were tired, and it was a long walk to the island. We stayed long enough to see some of the lights start to come up in the abbey and drove back to Bayeux.
Sunday was a lazy day in Bayeux. We looked at the tapestry, at the cathedral, at the town center. We lazed in the park. I made daisy chains.
Music to travel by: Hoppípolla [Sigur Ros // Takk...]