A short train trip northwest from Paris and you’ll be marveling at Mont St. Michel, following in the footsteps of Impressionist painters, hanging out in William the Conqueror’s old haunts... Not to mention blissing out on Normandy’s oysters and cream-rich cuisine paired with cups of cider and healthy doses of Calvados. It’s been 1,100 years since Rollon the Viking signed the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte with the King of the Franks, creating the regional dukedom. And Normandy is celebrating this birthday with a jam-packed events calendar. Case in point: This weekend’s Medieval festival in Bayeux, complete with jousting knights, music from the Middle Ages, and costumed Medieval feasts.
Make a pilgrimage to see the Bayeux tapestry, a UNESCO listed treasure depicting the story of William the Conqueror’s invasion of England. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this summer (from July 14- August 27), a spectacular sound and light show will take place around the Bayeux Cathedral. Not to be missed: an exhibit juxtaposing the Bayeux tapestry with a 12th century scroll from Japan.
While in Normandy, pay homage to the fallen heroes at the D-Day landing beaches and the Normandy American cemetery. To delve deep into WWII history, Caen's Museum for Peace is extraordinary. The Utah Beach Museum has just unveiled a dramatic renovation and it’s worth a visit, as is an afternoon walking across the crater-pocked cliff at Pointe du Hoc, the strategic point of attack by the U.S. Army Rangers on D-Day.
For the full list of Normandy’s celebratory events, check out the website www.happybirthdaynormandie.com.
Image of Mont St. Michel via Wikipedia