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.
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.
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.
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.
This alone was worth going for.
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.
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.
They had a section about the Berlin Wall, with some good spy relics like cameras, and scent samples taken by the Stasi.
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).
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.