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Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

SoCal
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1,238 posts
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Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

We recently returned from a 15 day trip to France, which began in Bayeux for 5 days and continued in Paris for the remaining 10 days. Our stay in Bayeux was excellent by almost any measure-great food, friendly and helpful locals, beautiful scenery and interesting historical and cultural sights. Our Normandy itinerary included a visit to the D-day beaches and the path of Easy Company (ie, Band of Brothers), a day in Honfleur, a day exploring Bayeux and a day visiting Mont-Saint Michel. The food was amazing-we had arguably the best dinner I've ever had anywhere (food, service and ambiance) at La Rapiere, and the other dining experiences were almost as good (and all were better and cheaper than any of the dinners in Paris the following week). Our day trips were made a bit more interesting by the fact that I was driving for the first time outside the US in 11 years, and it took me a while to adjust to the differences, but we managed to make it to and from our destinations without incident (although I did drive on the sidewalk at least once by mistake!). Some highlights of our stay:

- The food! I can't say enough good things about our experiences dining in Bayeux. We ate at 3 restaurants: Le P'tit Resto, La Rapiere and La Fringale. All were excellent, and P'tit Resto and La Rapiere were superb and served some of the best cuisine I've had at any restaurant anywhere (which includes most of the major US cities, Rome, Florence and London, all of which have world class dining). La Rapiere in particular was incredible-we got stuck in a massive traffic jam in Caen on our return trip from Honfleur and were almost an hour late, but they held our table for us (we had called to let them know of our predicament). The food and service were 5 star-we felt like we were regulars that had been coming there for many years, and everything we ordered was perfectly prepared. We canceled another reservation to make a second stop at Le P'tit Resto, also a superb dining experience, excellent service and prefectly prepared and presented dishes.

- We stayed at Le Relais de la Tour Louise chambre d'hotel, just south of the Bayeux cathedral. Our stay was delightful-Wil, the son of the couple that owns the B&B, was easily the most helpful lodging proprietor we've had-he picked us up at the rail station on our arrival, made all of our restaurant reservations in advance, accompanied me to the rental car office and acted as my personal interpreter for the entire rental process and gave us countless tips on Bayeux and the surrounding area. Wil went over and above the call of duty-having someone like that to assist you on your first visit to a new country is truly priceless.

- The Overlord tour was great-humorous tour guide, fantastic weather (the weather that day unfolded almost identical to that on June 6, 1944) and lots of interesting historical tidbits that one would never discover on a DIY tour (which I had seriously considered at the beginning). Highly recommended tour company.

- Our Honfleur day was completely different and began with a drive through the Pays d'Auge countryside, a delightful lunch at L'Ecailleur (a bit pricey for Mrs W, but I rediscovered the joys of fresh oysters), a very nice walk along the quay leading out to the Channel (I got some great photos of the Ponte Normandie) and a visit to the Musee Boudin (Eglise St Catherine was closed for a funeral, so we saw the outside only). The only downside to this day was a massive traffic jam in Caen, which resulted in me getting off the autoroute and immediately getting lost in Caen-we had the €2 tour of the University of Caen as a result. Fortunately, the day was capped with our incredible dinner at La Rapiere, which made all the traffic stress melt away.

Part 2 of the report will follow-stay tuned.

Bayeux Shuttle Multimedia Tours
Historical & Heritage Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours
OverlordTour
Sightseeing Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Private Tours
Normandy44 Tours
Day Trips, Historical & Heritage Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Private Tours
Normandy Sightseeing Tours
Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
Essex
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1. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Glad your trip went well, sounds like you had a fantastic time. Nice of the Wil guy to help you - sounds like an excellent host!

Glad you got those pictures of the bridge you wanted - has the father seen them yet??

SoCal
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7 reviews
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2. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Not yet-I have yet to process the 2,000+ photos on my memory cards, which is this weekend's project. Staying in Bayeux as our first stop in France turned out to be a great move-it was so much less frantic than Paris and gave us the chance to acclimate to France and the 9 time zone difference before we entered the City of Light. We followed this approach on our trip to England in 2008 (recommended by Rick Steves) and it really helped us ease into the culture and time change, so we decided to use this approach for all of our future trips.

Essex
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3. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Sounds like you have a good travel 'formula' and IIRC a reasonably relaxed attitude to your plans as well - no wonder you have such happy trips!

SoCal
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7 reviews
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4. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

I've still got some work to do to make them even more pleasant-a bit less structure in our itinerary, fewer evening activities and fewer expensive restaurants, but this is more fine tuning than a redesign. Practice makes perfect, as the saying goes... :-).

Florida
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1,357 posts
201 reviews
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5. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

I just emailed Le Relais de la Tour Louise chambre d'hotel because of your review. I am going to do the same but around the days they have available. I tried booking.com but they always say the last room was booked. How far was the train station from the hotel?

So Cal
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401 posts
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6. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

to flpab: The train station was not far at all, we took a taxi the day we left from the B&B to the train station, and I think it cost just around 8 euros. We saw several guests that left our B &B and walked to the station. The one reason I didn't really want to walk is because there was one roundabout between the B&B and the station, and it seemed to me it would be a walk in traffic, not a scenic walk.

Florida
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7. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Thank you! I just booked for four nights in May. I will play it by ear, if it is a nice day we will walk. I found it on the map and see the roundabout.

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Interesting report.. thanks! I had to laugh when you wrote..."I did drive on the sidewalk at least once"... I have seen more cars driven on sidewalks in France than anywhere else so it only made you look more like a local! LOL

erie
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111 posts
10 reviews
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9. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Thank you for your report... alot of great information in helping other TAer's. I'm beginning to do research to visit same areas in 2012. Still have not

quite decided if i should plan travel in late April/early May or late Sept/early-mid Oct.. When were your travel dates in the Normandy area, sounds like weather was fine. Looking forward to 2nd part of your travels..

Louisville, Kentucky
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10. Re: Highlights of Our Stay in Bayeux

Mr. and Mrs. Webdweeb, I so enjoyed exchanging posts and messages with you when you are planning your trip. I am so happy that it turned out so well and that you are staying on TA.

Don't stop posting...you have a lot to contribute and you do it splendidly! You gathered information and you made your trip your own. That's how exactly how things should work on TA. :-)