Caen Day 2

Europeans have chocolate with everything.  You can get Special K cereal with chocolate flakes in it.  Diet-conscious small flakes, obviously.

I ran in to the city centre and raided the tourism office for EVERY brochure.  Then I went next door to William’s old house.

William the Conqueror!

Built in the 11th century

View of south-west corner

View from the ramparts

This was one of the coolest things I’ve seen on the whole trip.

From there I took the train to Bayeaux (€6.10 each way).  As soon as I stepped off the train there were signs saying ‘This way to the tapestry’.  Entry was €8 but worth it.  Since it was a grey day in the off-season there was only a small crowd and I could look for as long as I liked.

Clandestine photography

Harold holds court – note the spy behind the pillar

Halley’s comet!

Certainly one of the most action-packed tapestries I’ve ever seen

And there it is!

The museum also has a display about Norman rule in England (the infamous strip farm is included), but you didn’t come for that, did you?

I also had a look at the cathedral.

All the churches and cathedrals here look the same, I’m afraid.

I returned to Caen, and on the suggestion of my hostess went to the Memorial de Caen museum.  It’s expensive (€18) but one of the best museums I’ve been to in the world.  It has a good panel layout, quality relics, and breaks up information nicely.

French soldier’s equipment while on the Maginot line


MONTY’S HAT!!!!!!!!!

This alone was worth going for.

Miniature coffin the resistance would send collaborators

There was a good section on resistance, collaboration and the Vichy regime.  They also had several documentaries showing around the galleries – one was about the way WW2 is remembered in different countries – good for historical theory.  There was a surprisingly small section on D-Day itself.

The first chest webbing?

Wedding dress made from a parachute

They had a large section about the Cold War that was very well done.  I felt terribly worldly looking at all the pictures (Beijing, Potsdam, Berlin, Saigon) and being able to think that I have been to all these places.

Big section about how awful nuclear weapons are. Of course no mention of French nuclear testing or HOW THEY BLEW UP OUR SHIP!

They had a section about the Berlin Wall, with some good spy relics like cameras, and scent samples taken by the Stasi.

They’re everywhere!

There was also a gallery about political cartoons – including 2 by Tom Scott, a Tremain and an Evans – but only one Oliphant (a prominent American cartoonist).

I took a lot of photos to use in the classroom. This would be a good one for Y10

It took me 3 1/2 hours to go around, but I could have spent 5.  I ended up being chased out by a guard.

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