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2019 already? Must be time for ... EUROPE!

My goodness -- does the Rick Steves' calendar on the wall say that it's 2019 already? That must mean it's time for me to go back to Europe!

Sept 21: Take off at 4:20 (in more ways than one) from SeaTac.
4:21 -- Are we there yet?
4:22 -- We we there yet?
4:23 -- Seriously, are we there yet?

Sept 22: Land CDG, join the cattle-line getting through arrivals, sprint to TGV station and hopefully make my train to Strasbourg; try to stay awake so I don't miss my stop.
6:00pm: "What's German for 'how the hell do I get back to Strasbourg?'"

Sept 23: Enjoy a tour of the Alsace wine region. Try not to get Al-sauced.

Sept 24: Colmar? Who can say nien to that?

Sept 25: How could you not spend a day in Strasbourg itself? It's the Strasbourg-iest place in Alsace.

Sept 26: Off to Bayeux! 5 hours of train time. Beats sitting in I-5 traffic back in Seattle.

Sept 27: Overlord D-Day tour

Sept 28: Cheese-and-brandy tour: what could POSSIBLY go wrong here?

Sept 29: Explore Bayeux. I'll bet there's a cathedral there!

Sept 30: Off to Paris.

Oct 1: Wander all around Paris marveling at how wonderful it is to be wandering all around Paris

Oct 2: Lyon for the day? Don't mind if I do!

Oct 3: Walk to the Arc de Triomphe -- provided the Yellow Vests haven't burned it down by then.

Oct 4: Off to visit Chartes, and is that a CATHEDRAL?!

Oct 5: Choo-Choo to Ghent

Oct 6: Ypres and the Menin Gate ceremony

Oct 7: Bruges; who doesn't like Bruges?

Oct 8: Explore Ghent or wander unsteadily back to Bruges.

Oct 9: Off to Haarlem!

Oct 10: Visit the Rijksmuseum -- provide running commentary/prop humor until my wife threatens to kill me.

Oct 11: Explore Haarlem. Oh, look -- a cathedral!

Oct 12: Traipse on over to the Van Gogh museum. I'm sure the line will be short and the place mostly empty on a Saturday.

Oct 13: Fly back on home

Missed this trip: Oktoberfest. :( There was just no way to work it in this go-around. As Uncle Rick always says, "No refunds!" -- erm, I mean, "travel like you're going to return someday." And despite several written warnings from EU agencies, I -will- return!

So here we go:

  • What ultra-super-neato things would you do in Bayeux, apart from that tapestry dealio and trying to look interested in the cathedral? There's gotta be some way of killing the day there that doesn't have to do with the Battle of Hastings.

  • How'bout Strasbourg? It looks pretty, but is it all-damned-day pretty?

  • Anything else you'd do if you were in my shoes?

-- Mike Beebe
"We should honestly be there by now"

Posted by
1384 posts

My husband and I will be in Bayeux September 23 - 26th! Since it's our second time, we'll be taking the Overlord tour of the Canadian and British Sectors. The tapestry actually is super-neato. The audioguide reminded me of Spamalot - not sure if it was intentional or not. Even though I am officially "churched out", I really liked the Bayeux cathedral - not too crowded and the crypt is interesting. I'm also planning on visiting the Bayeux WWII Museum and the British cemetery.

IMHO, Strasbourg is a really nice place just to be, as is Bayeux. I regret that we didn't have a full day to spend there. We took the Ophorus "Pearls of Alsace" tour. This might not work for you since already plan on spending an entire day in Colmar, but it sure worked for us.

Posted by
1975 posts

One place I visit every time we visit Bayeux is Queen Matilda, a patisserie just a block or so from the cathedral. IMO they have some of the most beautiful pastries and delicious hot chocolate in all of Normandy!

Posted by
12053 posts

I definitely recommend the Battle of Normandy Museum in Bayeux. You can inquire at the city tourist office about its walking tour of the town. I enjoyed that. Bayeux has a history of lace-making, and I think there are one or two places in town where the process is explained.

Strasbourg is a major city; befitting its importance, it has a lot of museums, and many of them sound enticing to me. I haven't been to the city recently and don't believe I've actually been to any of the museums, but I think there's a good chance something will appeal to you and your wife. I would want multiple days in Strasbourg for sure, and I'll be surprised if you cannot fill a full day there.

I have a tip for the Overlord Tour: Consider taking something that can serve as lunch along with you. Our lunch break was in the town of St.-Mere-Eglise. The stop was just about long enough to see the Airborne Museum (materiel-heavy) or to have a quick sit-down lunch. Most of us opted to buy a sandwich at a carry-out spot pointed out by our driver/guide. We wolfed down those sandwiches and hotfooted it to the museum. We would have saved 5 or 10 minutes by taking lunch along with us. You are not allowed to eat in the van, however.

Posted by
10601 posts

Getting back to Strasbourg... Wie kommt man denn am besten nach Strasbourg?

Posted by
535 posts

Bayeux: could you stop by this little store and pick me up some ramekins? Drop them over Philly on your way back!

Seriously, this is on my list to do. I bought the soup bowls when I was there, but can't stop thinking of the ramekins. I believe the merchandise is made by the shop owner, so a nice treat.

Oh, and I really like the cathedral. It is a bit different.

Have a good time!!

Posted by
1040 posts

I too will chime in for the lovely people-sized Cathedral in Bayeux. It was one of my favorites in all of Europe. And, beautiful stained glass windows.

Posted by
318 posts

When I was in Bayeux in 2013 the Tourist Information had a map for a self-guided walking tour of the town, which I took while my husband did laundry. It included the outside of a building that was the temporary capital after the Allied forces reached Bayeux and before they retook Paris (if I recall correctly).

Posted by
15408 posts

Haven't I already read this trip report? Oh, wait -- there's no Delft in this one.

Posted by
4148 posts

Anything else you'd do if you were in my shoes?

Take them off; burn my socks, bleach my feet.....( just kidding- sounds like a fun trip-enjoy & do send reports; always a fun read)

Asking 'are we there yet?' is like watching a pot of water waiting for it to boil--- stop asking and just order another beverage and you will be there surprisingly soon

Posted by
14 posts

I have no advice, but will honestly look for you on Oct 1 at the Eiffel Tower! I'm sure I will recognize you- just look for the guy with all the people around him laughing uncontrollably. (And maybe being hit in the head with a very pretty (wife) woman's hand bag?)
Seriously though, funny post. I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
We will be arriving at CDG on 28 Sept and returning to Fl on 11 Oct.
And yes, we should be there by now!

Posted by
337 posts

Looking forward to reading your posts. Good luck with the planning.

Posted by
1205 posts

Oh good, you’re traveling again. I hope we have more posts to look forward to, even if we have to wait.

One our favorite memories in Bayeux was watching Rugby Worlds in a bar there. They didn’t speak much English, we didn’t speak much French, but we all enjoyed the game.

Posted by
208 posts

To all you wunnerful, wunnerful folks,

Thank you! Yup, there'll definitely be trip reports and no, I won't be going to Delft again. I'm sure that catfish is just waiting for evolution to give it legs so it can start snarfing down tourists. There's a reason Delft is called 'The Galapagos of the Netherlands', and I'm not going to be the one shrieking down the street whilst pursued by a man-eating walking catfish.

Also, I'll make sure to stagger around Strasbourg and Bayeux, taking in the many sites and cathedrals and cathedrals and cathedrals.

Also also, thanks for the tip on bringing a lunch on the Overlord tour.

I'm serious about that catfish, by the way. I think Uncle Rick needs to start requiring catfish insurance on any of his tours traipsing through Delft. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before we're reading trip reports like 'Oi! Catfish et me mum!' and 'Delft: 20 tour members went in and only 8 came out! The hotel was quaint, 'tho.'

You just can't trust a catfish -- that's all I'm saying.

-- Mike Beebe

Posted by
721 posts

Amazingly, there IS a cathedral In Haarlem! We visited mostly for the organ tour, since the organ was built in 1738 and was played by Mozart who then proclaimed the organ as the King of Instruments. If you are interested, check the website for the Grote Kerk in Haarlem to see when they have tours or concerts.

There is also a cathedral in Strasbourg that is very nice - made of gorgeous red and white stone instead of the usual gray stuff. And inside is a cool astronomical clock that puts on a good show. And we enjoyed the Alsatian Museum, which shows the ordinary life of folks there in times past, in an actual half-timbered house.

Have a great trip!