The Bayeux Countryside

Walking through the fields and paths in the countryside of Bayeux was nothing short of a dream come true. The small town was unlike anything I had ever seen, with archaic buildings and unique restaurants. I decided to take a walk out of the town, however, and discovered a path leading to several fields and a church in the distance. The fields stretched out along hills as far as the eye could see. Trees and hedgerows lined the roads and the edges of fields all around me. There was a creek illuminated by the sun as it crept beneath the hills. Cows grazed in the pastures I passed by and inhabitants waved at me from their windows as I strolled through. I walked along a stone wall until I reached the old church, which appeared to be upwards of five hundred years old. The cool air and the sound of birds offered several key moments for reflection.

Recalling the readings from this semester and the depictions of it I had seen in the past, I imagined the countryside coming alive with the hum of artillery, tanks, and guns in the distance. I imagined myself traversing a path once trekked by the British army as they advanced towards the town. I imagined Charles De Gaulle driving down the main road through the city to greet the people of Bayeux after its liberation. Based on what I had learned previously, I imagined even further in the past the Normans using the area to prepare for their invasion of England. Getting the chance to walk on the same road as key historical figures offers an immersive experience with history that can’t be captured in a classroom. My walk in Bayeux has been one of the best moments on my trip so far. Though to some it may appear no different than any other countryside in Europe, the area of Bayeux boasts a rich amount of historical significance that goes back a thousand years.

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