Today the rest of the cruisers set out for a tour of the Normandy D-Day beaches.
It’s a great tour that no American should miss if in Normandy.
In Caen we toured what’s left of the walled town and castle built in the 11th century by William the Conqueror, originally known as William the Bastard. That’s a tough name to overcome. It just goes to show it doesn’t matter how you come into the world but what you do once you are here that matters. Also, you may recall the Jewish religious leaders accused Jesus of being a bastard. (John 8:39-42).
Anyway, the church where he worshiped is still there, thanks to some preservation and renovation. And no, the tourist information desk you see in the pic was not part of the church when William worshipped there.
After that we went to the Abbey of St. Etiene, which was established by William in 1063 and is the place he was buried. Apparently during the French Revolution, the revolutionaries desecrated his tomb. Now all that is left in the tomb is his thigh bone. The French rebels had a thing about desecrating tombs and churches.
We then enjoyed a great lunch in the town of Bayeux (they are all great lunches in France by the way) but decided against seeing the Bayeux Tapestry because we had seen it before and were short on time.
Instead, we revisited the Bayou Cathedral. As you can see from the pic, it’s another example of medieval awe-inspiring Christian architecture. The site was originally consecrated on July 14, 1077—exactly 938 years ago today—in the presence of William the Conqueror. William got around.
Our driver then drove us to Omaha Beach where we met up with the rest of the cruisers. On the ride back on the bus I began reading the recently discovered diaries of Richard the Lionheart in preparation for our stop tomorrow.
In the evening, The Wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary with a wonderful dinner on the ship with family and friends. After dinner we watched the Bastille Day fireworks from the deck of the ship, accompanied by red, white, and blue Champagne served by the ships staff. Only in France…
Until tomorrow. GS