Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Winter break, Tuesday

A much better night's sleep, but I still have very little energy. We wanted to visit the Christmas markets this morning, and the SW was confident he had parked really near, but it seemed like miles. It was too near breakfast for gluehwein, alas, although they were selling it, and not all stalls were open. We had a potter round those that were, and bought one or two things. Then we went back down towards the car, but wanted to call in at the cathedral where William the Conqueror was buried, next to the town hall
so we found the entrance and went in. First thing we saw was the wonderful Christmas crib. The French do cribs so much better than we do. This one, correctly, had no Baby Jesus and no Wise Men as yet, but it was still lovely:

After looking round the Cathedral seeing the Conquerors tomb,

and, in my case, sitting quietly in front of the Blessed Sacrament for awhile, we came out and walked back to the car, passing the ruined church of St-Etienne, 
destroyed by British soldiers including, I have a horrible feeling, my father, who was certainly here or hereabouts in 1944

Then we drove up to and round the Castle, and up to the Memorial, but it was getting late and there was nowhere to park, so we came back to the hotel, bought fresh supplies in Monoprix, and had lunch. 

In the afternoon, we drove cross-country to Livarot, and found a factory that made the eponymous cheese, also Camembert and Pont L'Eveque. They didn't lay on a factory tour, as such, but you could wander round and there were films and information panels telling you about the dairy herds that produced the milk, mostly Normande  cattle, and then showing you how they made the various cheeses - and you could peep through windows to watch them being made, wrapped, etc. Fascinating and a great gift shop, including local court, so we stocked up. Then a wonderful drive to Falaise cross-country, through the village of Camembert (which also had a museum, but we didn't stop there as we were cheesed out (though not in any way cheesed off!))  

Falaise was lovely, although not much difference between its castle and the one in Caen that I could see.  And so back to Caen, and my insides are telling me it's supper time. 

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