Sunday, Sep. 23, 2007 - FRANCE - Rouen to Bayeux

  Due to a somewhat unpleasant hotel experience, we were up and out quite early.  Thinking to leave the town altogether we were captivated by a glance at the numerous spires towering above the city.  Realizing it was an altogether perfect time (VERY early on a Sunday morning) to visit the city we proceeded to the majestic Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Rouen.  Parking was easy of course as the streets were all but deserted.  Later, it was still freshly early as we wend our way to Bayeux, Peg's long-held desire to see the famous Bayeux "Tapestry" there.


Transept view of the Rouen Cathedral which dates back to the time of William the Conqueror.  Although devastated by fire & rebuilt in the 1200's.   

A partial view of the angle featured in Monet's 17 studies of the edifice in various lights. Magnificent any way you look at it. 

This angle for instance.  Different but no less appealing to the eye.

And INside . . . .  Can you see the silence? 

One photo can't do it justice, but then neither can two.  We try.

Out on a nearby street we realize not even the pastry shops are open yet so we enjoy the charming clock which seems to chime 8 times just for us. 

The Great Clock (Gros-Horloge) dates from the 14th century, has only one hand (who needs to be concerned with minutes in the 14th c?) and shows the phases of the moon (top) and features of the week (bottom)

Just a sample of the numerous half-timbered structures lining the streets here.

And a view down a smaller, darker side street.

Out of town we journey along the Seine and note the clouds are playing with the morning sun.  We try this silhouette.

We carefully pass a group of serious bikers who are also enjoying the fresh Sunday morning.

Miss Garmin says to cross the river and here is a charming, cooperative ferry to help us.

We disembark the ferry and turn to see it disappearing in the morning mist.

Speaking of morning mist,  Patrick  captures it in this breathtaking, ethereal photo of the abbey ruins of Jumieges. Even Monet could not have managed this.  This historical site was not yet open but we learn it dates from the 600's. 


Arriving Bayeux ... Am I really here?  My many years since college of wishing to see the famous Bayeux Tapestry has become reality.  I feel a bit of trepidation mixed with appreciation and excitement.

Here is the building that houses the work.  The hall includes a fine museum with assorted and very relevant interpretive materials of the period and life styles of 1066.

Photos were not allowed so we managed this one from another source.  It gives the flavor of the textile.  Peg wrote a too long poem for an art history class once.  See Peg's Epic Poem

It is time to find some lodging for the night.  The area tour guide mentions a monastery LaJoie Saint Benoit.  We check it out and it is much to our liking altho the entrance (shown here) was hard to find.  No neon signs.

The sister gave us a little tour including this drying chamber from  the old laundry facilities before showing us to our rooms.

Our second floor corner room, a clean, well-lighted place filled with fresh air.  It invited rest and relaxation.

We were quite intrigued with the views.  This photo tried to capture the reflection in the window as well as the direct view.  

The toilets were new, clean, & compact.  Clearly, it was a very convenient way to remodel an older facility in order to cater to today's visitors by providing  in-suite WC & shower.

The view from our window of the Cathedral at Bayeux in the distance & the neighborhood in the right foreground.

The dining hall across the spacious grounds. Here we met a group from the UK touring the battlefields under the tutelage of a retired Vicar which all made for enjoyable table conversations. We were all invited to "joyfully wash our own dishes."

Another view of the rooftops of Bayeux, with the Cathedral in the background, from the hallway outside our room.  

Playing with angles and perspectives, Peg captures this photo of our stairwell.  It was charmingly creaky (a lift was also provided).

Out for an evening walk, we play with time exposures and manage this one of the cathedral.  Nice? yes.

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