[In advance – I don’t know what the dealio with the pictures is, but I’ll try to correct it (whatever it is) by next post.]
Last meal: cheesy pizza (second night in a row)
Drink of choice: cider
Quote of the day: “Is this a urinal?” -Olivia, of the bidet in our Trouville place.
Song in my head: seriously, it’s playing everywhere!
We arrived in Rouen (pronounce rrrRR-oo-õh, or similar) after around 1.5 hours on our ticket-less journey. This is the place that Joan of Arc was executed, so obviously sounded like a darn cool place and somewhere I defs wanted to visit. And Jus is just going along with places I want to go, since I’ve been the one researching this endeavour.
Within our first 5 minutes it started pouring with rain, which I think sums up Normandy rather nicely. Realised about 15 minutes into the walk through the rain that I didn’t know where we were going. Frequent stops like tourists at bus stop maps. After some random turns in what I thought was the right direction, we came across a bus stop which in fact did mention our tiny street/place. So we found it at last, drenched but relieved.
We could see the main cathedral from our room, which was undergoing renovations, but it was still real pretty. For dinner, we walked around for aaaaages trying to find an ok joint to eat, and on the way found the town hall and another gothic-y church (I think this one was built over the square where they actually killed her?) until we found a really cool pizza place, and we tried the french soft drinks: one was called Oasis (tasted of weak cordial) and the other was Tropico (undiluted cordial). The actual pizza was great, and we bought naughty nuggets too.
The next morning we got up nice and early for a “run” along the river. It started raining halfway through, so we cut the run short and stopped off for a croissant and coffee each: only fair. We dropped by the old part of town, which was quite lovely and rather quaint (not to be patronising), and bought the most enormous chocolate crêpe (it was the second made at the stall that day, so there was heaps of dough!)
Decided on this place, a small seaside town (cue: Kooks), as opposed to Caen (pronounced kõh), which (correctly) seemed more industrial. The wind was incredibly cold, but our apartment was right on the river! Though the shower was wack (Olivia had a tanty) and the heating was pathetic (we had it on for the entirety of our stay – two days. Thanks nuclear power!) On our first night it was pouring, so we ran up to the nearest supermarket and got us some red meat for dinner!
On Tuesday, we headed off on a “day trip” (we left after midday) to Honfleur, another port town and, incidentally, the birthplace of Erik Satie! It had far more charm than Trouville, and we had a late lunch – Jus’ was far better than mine, with beef bourgignon and a bucket of marinated mussels! Smart. We walked around for a while then headed back for some homecooked fish for dinner!
By the time we woke up on Wednesday, it was too late to go to Bayeux like we’d planned, so instead we hung out around Trouville. Headed to the “beach” when the tide was out, then on a “nature” walk, even though the woodlands are mightily planned compared to Australia, and we didn’t even get that far – only to farmland. It was really nice though.
Thursday we had to get on out of the place, so we headed off reasonably on time to go to Rennes via Bayeux. And oh my gosh, it was worth it. Bayeux is amazing, so glad we went. And we didn’t even see any of the war stuff: only the tapestry (which we saw twice – it’s awesome yet confusing. It’s complicated! Here’s a synopsis:
Edward: Zomg, I’m old. Harold, my brother-in-law, go tell William across the sea that he’s my heir.
Harold: Haychu. I wanna be your heir. (after sailing) Oh man, I’m lost.
Guy de Poitier(?): Ima take you to William.
William: Oh herro Harold. Let’s be friends. Wanna come bully some kids with me? (after pillaging Brittany) You my best friend.
Harold: (back in England) What? Ed’s dead? I’m your king now, England! Muahahaha. Oh, what is that light explosion in the sky? (answer: Halley’s comet)
William: Harold, IT IS ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!!
Harold: Dammit, there’s an arrow in my eye.
William: Huzzah, you thought I was dead in the battle but I’m not. You shall now call me William the Conqueror, no longer William the Bastard! (true name)
End scene) and the Bayeux Cathedral which is SOOOO humungo and really beautiful. We were there rather late so we didn’t get a chance to go inside, but it’s on my to-do list (as are the war memorials/D-Day beaches that I missed. Probably to Justin’s delight).