Sunday, April 05, 2009

Calais to Bayeux

The french build their roads like they build their cars - way too complicated; by far! If it wasn't for the GPS we would have been hopelessly lost within a couple of hours of departing. If it wasn't for the GPS we would have arrived a couple of hours before we actually did. It is very important to have up-to-date maps which ours clearly aren't and it kept on trying to take us onto roads which have been blocked off due to road works so we had to navigate the old fashioned way for while until the GPS finally forgot about the way it thought we should be going.

On the motorway there is a layby about every 50km or so which is usually quite nice but the french drivers are true to their reputation - rude and arrogant although outside their cars we have had quite the opposite experience. If you don't know where you are going you shouldn't be here is their basic attitude.

We were going to stop in Rouen to see where Joan of Arc snuffed it but we were running out of time so we gave it a miss. There was a long tunnel through a mountain and into Rouen so on the GPS we could see the streets above us. I'm not sure how the GPS showed us where we were while we were in the tunnel but it was pretty impressive!

The camping ground guide said that there was a french chateau which had been turned into a camping ground so we thought it would be nice to camp there but unfortunately it was closed but how is this for a driveway!

After a while driving through the french countryside which was quite nice anyway while the electronic brain had it's schizophrenic moment we finally arrived in Bayeaux to see the tapestry which is, I admit, pretty impressive. It's like a 70m long embroidered comic strip depicting the norman invasion of england which ended up with Harold with one in the eye.
Rumour has it that it was embroidered by nuns but I doubt it, nuns ought not have knowledge of some of the more graphic images in the tapestry.

We finally found the campsite we were looking for more by accident than anything else we couldn't find it on the GPS no the map so we headed in the general direction and followed some signs. I think that navigation is going to be combined effort between GPS, map, signposts and a little bit of luck.

The campsite is pretty great and there is a wonderful air of freedom at the campsite. I think I had a bit of an anxiety attack, not really sure why and I'm not even sure if it was; I was just feeling very anxious for no particular reason. Europe in spring is still cold and even with the jackets and beanies we were still a bit on the cold side.

No comments: