Sunset in Bayeux

Bayeux, France is a nice little town in Normandy - a great base for all the area has to offer!

We came across Bayeux, France by accident when planning our trip over there.  This was last summer (I have mentioned that I am a bit behind, haven't I?) and we were taking a family trip through London (quickly) and then on to France.  There's so much to see in any country really, and France is no different.  When you are planning a trip, it's easy to think "we are going to see EVERYTHING", but reality is often quite different.

Anyways, one thing for sure on our agenda was a weekend in the Normandy area.  Call us tourists if you want to, but we really wanted to see the American Cemetery there (and we did).  But all the guide books offered so many choices in terms of what town to stay in that we ended up just picking Bayeux based on proximity and size.  It looked like it was pretty close, and it was a decent-sized town.  I knew I would be driving, and we wanted to be reasonably close.  Turns out it was a great choice.

One of the quaint little streets by our hotel in Bayeux.  We ate at one of those places.

We arrived on a Friday evening, later than expected.  We had started that morning in London.  We hopped on the Eurostar from St. Pancras International Station, which took us in about 2 hours straight to Paris, after passing through the Chunnel (which is fun).  In Paris we had to take a taxi to a different train station and then get in line and buy tickets for the smaller train that would take us to Caen.  In Caen, we had a rental car waiting.  Well, waiting is not totally accurate.  We ended up having to wait for a couple of hours to get the car, hence the later arrival in Bayeux.

Sometimes the light gets all awesome, and you can't find a good spot.  It happens.

I was tired but undaunted, and after getting settled in and having a meal, I wandered the streets for a few while the rest of the family wisely chose to take it easy.  It's tiring to spend 12 hours traveling by way of two taxis, two trains, and a rental car, but the show must go on.  Or more specifically, there were photos to be taken, so I went to take them.

As you can see, the sunset ended up being pretty stellar, but being unfamiliar with the town I was stuck wandering the streets without a high vantage point to shoot from. Oh well, at least I got some shots, and at least I was in France doing it! 

The facade of Bayeux Cathedral

I just love all the cathedrals in Europe!

I really do.  They all are so beautiful, and since they are usually hundreds of years old, I just find they possess a lot of character.  Plus there is so much attention to detail and just pure awesomeness about them.  You just don't find very many like this in the US.  It's just not our thing, I guess.

When I was in France last summer, the first town that we stopped in was Bayeux, which is in Normandy and put us nearby the beaches that were used in World War II.  It's a great little town and I really enjoyed wandering the streets there.  Then again, I enjoy wandering the streets just about anywhere, actually, so that's not exactly breaking news.  LOL

Whenever I am headed to a new town in Europe, I always look it up beforehand and find what look to be great photo spots for me to target.  I also Google the churches in whichever town I am headed to, since they tend to be huge, beautiful historic things and I just love to shoot them. It also seems the towns are usually built around at least one of these beauties, do they are often nearby and easy to reach.

This one sits sort of at the top of a small hill and is impossible to miss, with those huge spires jutting into the sky.  I got there one evening during blue hour (which is kind of obvious, I guess) and thank goodness for my wide angle lens!  I was all the way back against a wall of another building when I took this shot.  But that's why I love my wide angle lens...it gets so much in the shot!

iPhone fun in Bayeux, France

It's about time for another iPhone post, don't you think?

As I mentioned here in a previous iPhone post, I am way behind in sharing all these little images I grab with my iPhone when I travel.  I was going through my iPhone photos recently and started counting up all the trips that I have taken over the last year or so, but haven't done an iPhone post on yet.  It's about 10.  That's too many.

So today, I am taking one off the list: Bayeux, France.

Let me start by repeating that I am WAY behind here.  This trip was in June last year.  See what I mean?  I'm way behind, but hey at least I'm trying!

You might not think it from my inability to be consistent with these posts, but I actually enjoy them quite a bit.  It's fun to run through 5-10 iPhone photos, process them and remember the scene, then relive it in my mind.  It's like a miniature virtual vacation, but without the cramped airplane seats.

But since I travel pretty frequently, and also of course I have my "regular" photos that I share here 5 times per week, plus I am starting to write more articles...well, I just get behind on things.

Anyways, Bayeux is a great little town and I really enjoyed staying there for a few days.  We chose the town due to it's proximity to Normandy/Omaha Beach, since we wanted to go to the American Cemetery there.  Talk about a thought-provoking place.  Wow.

But in addition to the World War II stuff, we just wandered and enjoyed this little town.  I definitely recommend it as a base for Normandy, but you should absolutely have a car while there.  You won't need it in town, but it makes it so much easier to get to the places you will want to go.

There is a beautiful cathedral (the first picture) and of course I just love shooting street scenes and the little shops that are scattered around.  They're just so inviting looking to me.

Also, if you haven't seen it here before, I created an iPhone gallery on the site so you can just check out some of my favorites.  I continue to upload more photos there as I get to them.  Here's the link: http://nomadicpursuits.com/iphone-gallery

And by the way, all my iPhone photos are taken with the built-in camera app, and adjusted with Snapseed.  Snapseed is so powerful and is basically all I ever use anymore!

Thanks for stopping by today!

Bayeux Cathedral

As part of our little family trip over to France, we wanted to make sure and visit Normandy, and specifically the American Cemetery located there.  We did, and it was a touching tribute to so many that lost their lives during the invasion.  As the weather was terrible that day, I didn’t grab too many pics there, but I have some that I will share at some point.

But one thing I did spend some time shooting was the town of Bayeux, which is where we stayed.  We had read online that it was a great base for exploring Normandy, and though we didn’t roam too far, it is definitely a well-positioned town for that.

I love to shoot in small European towns (and large European towns...so yeah I like to shoot anywhere in Europe I guess!) and Bayeux is just very charming.  I wandered the streets as much as I could there, and found some great spots.

One place in particular that I just loved was the Bayeux Cathedral.  I’m a huge fan of architecture, which you probably know by now, and this cathedral is gorgeous, inside and out.  I captured many shots of the fabulous exterior during blue hour one evening, and made a plan to return the next day to (hopefully) shoot the interior.

So the next afternoon (a Saturday afternoon) I arrived but sadly (for me, not for the couple) there was a wedding in process.  So I sat in the far back, and watched.  It was beautiful, but it’s sort of weird to be watching a wedding between two people you don’t know, especially when you weren’t invited.  :-)

Of course, I am not one to give up on my plan to shoot the place, but I knew I had to be stealthy.  So I waited and plotted my strategy, which was to fire my brackets handheld whenever they fired up the music.  Thankfully, the couple seemed to like music, so I got off plenty of shots during the songs.  But of course, I mostly aimed UP so as to capture the majesty of the place without the wedding party being in my shots.  I figured they already had a photographer!  :-)