Trip Report, Normandy: Day Five

Oct 7th, 2004, 08:39 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,235
Trip Report, Normandy: Day Five

NORMANDY, Day Five

After a delicious breakfast at our hotel (L'Ecrin) in Honfleur we set off for Caen. At the Abbaye des Dames (the women's abbey) we found a nearby parking place and took turns visiting the church so as not to leave the luggage unattended in the car. The church was breathtaking: high columns and vaulting rising toward the ceiling, with only flame-bright windows behind the altar to pierce the morning darkness.

Our next goal was the Abbaye des Hommes (the men's abbey), and for that we parked in an underground lot just across from the Caen town hall, which incorporates part of the ancient abbey. We were nervous about leaving the luggage, but I found a nice man who told me that there was no need to worry as the area was patrolled.

In the town hall we learned that the actual abbey could be visited only on a tour; so we decided to skip that, except for visiting the cloisters, and proceeded to the church. It was quite large, but we were able only to see the apse, as a long service was taking place. We though it was related to the opening of the law courts, as a number of men and women in judicial-looking gowns were participating. What we were able to see of the church was enough to make us resolve to go back some time to see the rest.

From Caen we drove outside Bayeux to the B&B for that night, the Château de Cottun. The château is owned and operated by an American, Thomas Kleingartner, and he is doing a fine job. The experience was like staying with a friend who just happened to be the owner of a large country estate?nothing hotellish about it at all.

Our large room held a big bed, a desk/dressing table, a huge wardrobe with a modern hanging rack next to it, a lovely overstuffed sofa complemented by a cream mohair throw, and an old chest laden with books and magazines just begging for attention. The walls were covered in a pretty blue-and-white-striped paper, and the bathroom was modern. Our friend had a smaller but also very nice room next to ours, with both opening off a corridor separated by a door from the main upstairs hallway.

On the ground floor is a large breakfast room, adjacent to the kitchen. The drawing room holds a piano, sofas and chairs, a CD player with an assortment of discs (Handel's "Water Music" was on top), board games, and many more books and magazines. We wished we could have stayed for a week to enjoy it all instead of just our two nights.

After leaving our luggage we drove back to Bayeux and, after a good deal of going the wrong way (we were thinking of the bridges of Rouen at that point), we found the museum housing the Bayeux Tapestry and were able to get right in: no line. "Tapestry" is actually a misnomer; it's really an embroidered cloth that extends for about 75 feet, depicting the events leading up to the Battle of Hastings and the battle itself. Amazing! The embroidery is beautifully preserved in a long glass-covered case in a dimly lit room, with just enough light to view the work as one moves along. Fortunately there is a railing to lean on, as well as wall seats at the back of what is really a long corridor.

Before returning to the château we made a stop at the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, a fine Norman Gothic church; the remains of the original building from 1077 are still to be seen.

For dinner that evening we ate in Bayeux at La Pommeraie, a green-fronted restaurant that was having an extremely busy evening, with several large groups. Dinner seemed to take forever, and we did not find the food to be anything special?except for the desserts. Our original plan was to have dined at the Le Petit Bistro, but it was closed that night.

It was nearly 10:00 p.m. by the time we got our bill. We were a bit nervous about finding our way "home" in the dark, but all went smoothly and we arrived at the château in good time. A light had been left on for us, and we climbed the stairs to our welcoming room, which included a teddy bear in case we needed comfort. Just the right touch, and an example of why the Château de Cottun is cherished by its guests.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 09:11 AM
  #2  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Okay - - I'll pretend like I am a newbie - - where can I read about days one through four?

This question would not exist if you posted all the individual days' reports as replies to the initial posting.

Best wishes,

Rex
rex is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 11:52 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609
Rex,

I don't think there is one best answer to that, other than having posted the entire report at one time (which would be my preferance).

Once a thread has a large number of posts, I grow much less likely to return to it. If there was now 20 or more posts and Underhill added another with the next day's report, I would probably never know it.

As it is, I have followed all of them reports with pleasure.

Keith
Keith is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 11:53 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 4,609
Or you could click on Underhill's name and see all of their recent posts.

Keith
Keith is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 01:20 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 61
Underhill, I noticed your concern about leaving luggage in the car. Is that really a big problem? If so, I'm not sure how to handle that. Its just my husband and I traveling and we certainly don't want to leave one of us standing guard over the car while the other one sees the sites. Since we are traveling from one spot to another in Normandy we will of course have our luggage in the car a great deal of the time. Any suggestions?
cbl30911 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 01:39 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,235
Try to get a car with a real trunk. Barring that (and it's difficult these days), rent one that will hold all your luggage under a hatchback cover. Don't leave anything in the car like maps or guidebooks; a local newspaper, however, is a good idea. On other trips we've kept a cooler in the back seat, as much to look unlike tourists as to have cold water on hand.

However, I felt much less anxious about leaving luggage in the car than we did in Provence. I had the impression that theft from cars (at least from cars not in a big lot near a tourist area) is much less prevalent than in the south.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 01:44 PM
  #7  
rex
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,194
Because this is someone who posts frequently, clicking on Underhill's name actually still leaves a reader with a considerable challenge to find the other "days" (parts) of this trip report.

And over time, that problem will only get worse. Someone who stubles across one part of this (say... by searching a specific city mentioned) will have a lot of trouble finding the other parts.

My hijacking of this line of thought on to the current thread is to make the point that posting altogether is by far the more effective, and more considerate approach to trip reporting.

I'll acknnowledge Keith's point that it's easy to overlook returning to a thread that goes from 20 replies to 21... there is no "flag" to indicate that the original poster has added more original content.

At this point, the nicest solution would be to post a complete listing of the URL for each "day" - - and append it to each thread representing the separate days.

rex is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 01:45 PM
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,235
Maybe I'll just append a note to each day indicating that the complete lineup is easily avilable on the bonjourparis.com forums site.
Underhill is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 02:36 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,412
Perhaps we've been unusally lucky, but I've never had any concerns about leaving our car parked with luggage in the trunk on our recent trips to Europe. We've travelled this way in France, Germany, the Low Countries, and Spain. We are careful to leave the front clear of gear, but our car has never been touched. Are we an exception?

I might be more cautious in Italy, but certainly didn't have any worries there 30 years ago.
laverendrye is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 02:44 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 34,738
When I saw the Day Two part or Day Four, I just looked for Day one..it was not a long search.
I have enjoyed reading these so much, Underhill! Thanks, it is a lot of writing and notes to go through~
Scarlett is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 02:51 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,495
Underhill, I've not had a problem following your report either. Since our return to France (Paris, Burgundy & Reims)is later this month, I'm checking daily and reading each installment. Thanks for taking the time to do this.
Judy is online now  
Oct 7th, 2004, 06:36 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 61
I agree with Judy. I haven't had a problem finding the posts either and I am very appreciative of Underhill's time to send these posts.
cbl30911 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2004, 08:31 PM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 20,235
Judy,

Our brief stay in Burgundy will be up this week-end.
Underhill is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:37 AM.