When we arrived in Paris, we had about an hour to appreciate the city before our train ride to Bayeux, but by the time we got off the train from Charles De Gaulle, we were so exhausted from all the air travel that we just stayed within Paris St. Lazare station. We were hungry, so we took a walk around the station in search of food. It was hard to sway the bf from grabbing some Burger King, but we went to a small sandwich shop instead that sold French baguettes, and some salads.
We did manage to go up to street level to snap one picture though to commemorate the bf’s first steps in the City of Lights. I’m also going to take this opportunity to say that the bf is camera shy so I’m going to respect his privacy and try not to include shots of him in any photos that go up, but I swear that’s his hand in the photo, not some handsome French man that I ran away with as soon as we landed!
We took one train straight to Bayeux and it was uneventful, which was nice given that we just wanted to relax for a bit. While the bf snoozed I caught up on reading The Goldfinch.
As I mentioned before, Bayeux is the small town that the bf chose as our jumping off point for our D-Day tour. I really had no idea what to expect as we trucked (trained?) closer and closer to it. All I knew from the pictures I saw online was that Bayeux looked a lot like what Belle’s town, from Beauty and the Beast, would look like if it was real – she did live in a French town after all!
I did know that Bayeux was one of the few coastal towns in the area that was virtually untouched during World War II, so it retains a lot of its old world charm. There weren’t a lot of modern-looking buildings, unlike Caen, which is a town twenty minutes away and suffered a lot of destruction during the war. Bayeux was also the first city to be liberated during the Battle of Normandy.
When we finally stepped off the train and into the Bayeux, it suddenly dawned on me that it was Sunday and it was 9pm, which meant that there would be virtually no chance that anything was open in town. Oh and yeah, we were starving. Uh oh.
We quickly hiked ten minutes or so to our “premium hotel,” The Premiere Classe Bayeux. It had a machine outside for late night check-in’s, which I thought was pretty cool despite the fact that it was housed in a small wooden structure with giant spiders living in the eaves of the roof. We soon discovered that our hotel was more of cleaner, fancier (and I use that word very loosely) hostel with a bunk bed, which we used to hold our stuff and free up the very limited floor space, and two single beds that we had to push together to form a decent sized queen (it actually ended up being the biggest bed we slept in the whole trip!).
A quick check on Yelp showed us that we were in luck – there was one restaurant in town open until 11pm! We quickly headed towards L’Conquerant, which was about twenty minutes walking distance from the hotel. In our haste, we almost missed the back of the striking Cathedrale Notre Dame de Bayeux. We literally turned a corner and there it was. I mean look at it!
Unfortunately, when we finally got to the restaurant, there was a sign on the door that said this was the only Sunday night they would be closed. D’oh! We had passed a few other places on the way that were starting to close up, and I prayed that one would still be open, but when we returned to each one, they had finally closed down for the night as well. Lesson learned, should’ve gotten the Burger King. Just kidding. Luckily, we had some granola bars and dried fruit back at the hotel, so we munched on that and tucked in for the night, ready for a whole day of exploring Bayeux.