A Wee Holiday to France (Part 2)

By Clare Longley - September 12, 2017


I can't believe I'm only getting round to sharing Part 2 of our week in France now and it's been a month since we got back. I'm blaming YouTube and editing our holiday vlogs, all of which you can find here.

I ended my last post talking about our journey and first full day where we went to Arromanches and the American cemetery at Omaha beach.


The following day was Friday and we started it off with a trip to Courseulles-Sur-Mer. We had read that they had a wonderful market on and oh my, it was amazing. We truly felt like we were in France and watching the locals purchase baguettes, cheese and mussels was like something from a movie. 

We decided to walk the length of the market taking in the sights, sounds and smells and and I said to Tom I would snap some photos and video footage on our way back. Major fail there - by the time we had been for a walk, stopped for lunch and proceeded to head back to the market we discovered it was over. I was so disappointed but I've committed those scenes to memory, it truly was fantastic. 

As we walked through the last few remaining market stalls the weather took a turn for the worse and Tom suggested going to the Memorial Museum in Caen as the forecast didn't look amazing for the rest of the day. He had been there years ago and raved about it but to be honest it was a total disappointment. 

When we first walked in they said we couldn't take the pram and had to leave it at the Kindergarten. They also suggested leaving Ethan there too which we politely declined. There was no way we were leaving him in a foreign nursery without us. Thankfully we had the sling with us in case his little legs got tired so we dropped off the pram and headed to the ticket kiosk. When they cashier said it was E40 I nearly fell off the proverbial chair. Never have we paid that much into a major museum, if anything, most museums of that size that we have been to in the UK and in the USA have been free.

We paid the money (with a few grumbles from me) and headed in to the museum. I said to Tom to look at the exhibitions and I would wander round with Ethan. He was being his typical toddler self wanting to run around, point at the lights and shout "Daddy" (total Daddy's boy that one) but we kept having people looking at us. I quickly realised that there wasn't a single toddler in the museum, they were all in the Kindergarten giving the impression that they didn't want children to be there. We took a break and headed outside to the gardens which Ethan loved then went back inside to continue with our visit.



The museum was good but very overpriced. We learned a valuable lesson though and that was that museums that aren't interactive are not the place for toddlers. We thought Ethan would have been happy walking about but in reality all he wanted was his pram and he couldn't go in it.



The following day we decided to make a trip to Bayeux as it's where my Great Uncle is buried at the British Cemetery as he fought on the side of the British during WW2.

Bayeux is stunning, probably one of the prettiest towns I have ever visited. The only way I could describe it would be that it is like York but with a French twist. From the cobbled streets to stone buildings and walls with trailing flowers, it was a photographer's dream.

We had a wonderful couple of hours exploring the narrow streets, the quirky shops and soaking up the atmosphere. We were on the hunt for a poppy to lay at my uncle's grave but we couldn't find one anywhere so ended up nipping to the supermarket for a small plant before we went to the cemetery.










Tom told me that the British Cemetery would feel different to the other ones that we had visited and to be honest I didn't believe him but he was right. It was a lot more relaxed and happier which is a strange sentence to type when I'm discussing somewhere that holds the bodies of hundreds of men but it's true. There were children running between the gravestones searching for names while older people stopped every so often to remember a particular loved one.




We found my Great Uncle Frank's grave easily enough and I laid some flowers and took some pictures. Never ever would I have taken a photo of a grave but this felt different. It also saddened me to see even more young men who lost their lives to give us our freedom. I just hope with the threats and noises being made by the USA and South Korea don't lead to more innocent lives ending far too soon.





Bayeux was amazing, I didn't expect to love it so much but it was my favourite part of the whole trip. It would have been lovely to visit the Tapestry too but we learned our lesson with the museum the previous day and decided it wouldn't be the best place to visit with a toddler in tow.

Next time I'll tell you all about our trip to the seaside!





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