We began August in Paris with a visit to the Pierre Hermé café behind the RER C stop at Pont de l'Alma. Paris was remarkably cool and pleasant almost all summer, and in the early mornings, we had it all to ourselves.
Of course, we wanted to get back to Lonlay l'Abbaye in August as well, so we set off mid-month with not a care in the world (well, not many, anyway). Within just a few warm days, the village was in full bloom.
We had already noticed in Paris that a surprising number of people seemed to come back from their long August holidays with sprained ankles, sunburns, bee stings or an arm in a sling.
We saw two men going all about the village, neatly chalking out the numbers that reserved spaces for the sellers at the next day's vide grenier. Later on, we noticed that the Google Street View car had apparently passed through and captured the unusual markings for posterity.
We, however, were a bit distracted, as I had discovered some unauthorized charges on credit cards we had left behind in our apartment in Paris.
We called the banks right away, of course, and the cards were cancelled. But were our accounts merely hacked, or had our apartment been burglarized? There was only one way to know for sure, so Joseph got the first train he could back to Paris.
The burglars were long gone. Sadly, so were a number of our possessions, particularly electronics, that the burglars probably found easy to carry and easy to fence. Lesson learned.
With the report in hand, it was relatively easy to file a claim online with our insurance company. The insurance company was fortunately very responsive and fair, it seemed to us, in their value assessments.
We now have new locks and an alarm system, and are no longer leaving any valuables in the apartment.
All in all, while the burglary was an upsetting experience, it could have been worse. We realized that we still retained the items we actually valued the most - like long-treasured books and other items connected to family and friends, whose value was strictly sentimental, not monetary.
The bus runs only a few times a day, takes longer than a taxi ride, and does not match all that closely with train times in Flers. However, it picks you up and drops you off right in the heart of the village, is easy (assuming you only have hand luggage) and inexpensive (2 euros/person each way), and provides a scenic and calming view of the Norman countryside.
Every item was delicious and unusual. Those cookies towards the left in the basket are made with chestnut flour and hazelnuts, a particularly unique and scrumptious combination!
You knew that, right?
It was on loan to Great Britain a few years ago, and I think new audioguides to the work were produced then, because the ones we had in English this time were very helpful in understanding the whole story. The "story cloth" was produced in the late 11th century, not long after the events depicted, but no one knows exactly by whom, or by which group of persons. So fascinating. For more information, you can explore the pages of the museum's website: www.bayeuxmuseum.com/en/the-bayeux-tapestry/over-the-centuries/
We liked walking the small streets of Bayeux together as well. As Bayeux was one of the first towns liberated after D-Day in World War II, it did not suffer significant bombing damage, and has retained many of its older houses.
We wisely set out early before the heat of the day, as Fougères was about an hour away. We were able to explore most of the structure and grounds before too many people were there, and left for lunch before getting heatstroke, as it was quite a warm day!
You wonder what you might find if you could dig deeper.
Now, why people throw coins into any orifice they see - particularly one that used to, for real, hold prisoners until they starved to death - is a mystery to me.
Sheesh. It's not the Disneyland wishing well, people!
Many thanks to K&P for making time for this special visit. We look forward to more adventures in Normandy and beyond.