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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 5:52 am    Post subject: Things to do in Normandy?         Reply with quote

Hi all. I'm on vacation in Normandy, France. I'm in a little place called Isigny sur Mer, which is about 20 minutes from Bayeux (right next to Omaha beach). I'm wondering if there are any onteresting things here to see with regards to the middle ages? I have already seen the Bayeux tapestry a couple of times. Also, on the way home I plan to stop a Crecy and visit the battlefield and museum (it's right on my way home). But I am wondering if there are any other interesting sights to see or places to visit. There is a *lot* here about WWII of course but I have seen all that already (I've been here may times before). My main interest is 11th-13th century, but anything up to the 16th century or related to the Knights Hospitaller / Knights of Malta would be interesting!

Thanks in advance!

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Julien M




Location: London
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Le Mont Saint Michel is an absolute must see, less than 2 hour drive from Isigny sur Mer.
I recommend going late in the afternoon, in order to hang around by night in the medieval city when it's empty and possibly in the Abbey itself (they use to open the Abbey to the public at night a while ago, along with medieval music performances).
The all place is simply breathtaking.

Cheers,

Julien
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 7:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You must see Chateau Gaillard in Les-Petits Andelys, Richard the Lionheart's staggeringly expensive castle.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 7:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Take pictures and share them with us poor souls stuck on this side of the pond. Wink
...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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John Turner




Location: East Riding of Yorkshire, England
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PostPosted: Tue 06 Sep, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

St Valery-sur-Somme, is the village where William the Bastard assembled his fleet before invading England. It's a charming village, (not much dating from the Norman times but very nice.) and the Bay of the Somme Estuary is stunning.

Rouen is also worth a visit.

"Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."

Edmund Burke

"If History is so important, why is it so easy to forget?"
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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Reading list: 17 books

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PostPosted: Wed 07 Sep, 2011 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks all. I will be visiting Mt St Michel. I also found that Paris is just 2 hours by train, so I will be visiting the Cluny museum and see the sword exhibit, which ends the 26th. I'm afraid the rest is too far away. Although St Vallery-sur-Somme is close to Crecy, I don't have time for it. I can only afford a 2-3 hour stop when I pass through on my return journey, so I prefer Crecy instead.
The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As promised, here are the pictures! I went to Mt. Saint Michel and the Cluny museum. On the way home I stopped in Crecy. But because the Crecy municipal museum was closed we took the scenic route to Agincourt and went to the museum (and battlefield) there.

http://gallery.jejik.com/

Apologies in advance if the pictures are a bit slow to load. They are hosted from my home server instead of my server in Amsterdam. Some of the pictures might also be a bit fuzzy. I didn't filter those out yet but just uploaded everything.

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2011 6:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

ok ill go ahead and say it ,
things to do in normandy, dunno about you, but MY to do list involves assembling a fleet taking the english crown with a great host of maile clad knights...
*wispers off stage* what do you mean thats already been done..
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Thu 22 Sep, 2011 10:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I hope you managed to get to Falais castle, The Bastard's birthplace?
"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Sep, 2011 3:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
I hope you managed to get to Falais castle, The Bastard's birthplace?


Nope, but my parents-in-law live in Normandy so I'm there quite regularly. I'll be sure to visit it next time!

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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Charlotte M.





Joined: 07 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Sep, 2011 3:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

@ William P: It's been done so many times, one more time wouldn't hurt anyone (although probably not litterally).

I have tried to get a group of people together to try it, but they just thought I was insane (I am not, just a little crazy every now and then) :-( . But if you want to try, we'll be happy to join you! (I'll probably be holding the camera)

@ Matthew Bunker
: I suggested to go there a couple of years ago, but Sander was still stuck in the wrong period of history: WWII. Now he does want to go....while we're back in the Netherlands...
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Fri 23 Sep, 2011 4:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Charlotte M. wrote:
[
I have tried to get a group of people together to try it, but they just thought I was insane (I am not, just a little crazy every now and then) :-( . But if you want to try, we'll be happy to join you!


We'll be waiting next time. Wink

There should be a big reenactment of Hastings in October 2012. The one is 2006 was pretty good, with 1000 infantry per side and 100 cavalry. Next year's is set to be even bigger.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Sat 24 Sep, 2011 1:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
There should be a big reenactment of Hastings in October 2012. The one is 2006 was pretty good, with 1000 infantry per side and 100 cavalry. Next year's is set to be even bigger.


We know! We're probably going with about a dozen or so people from our reenactment group and our WMA group. But we have a lot of training to do in order to unlearn some of our WMA instincts and learn the UK reenactment fighting style.

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 4:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Charlotte M. wrote:
[
I have tried to get a group of people together to try it, but they just thought I was insane (I am not, just a little crazy every now and then) :-( . But if you want to try, we'll be happy to join you!


We'll be waiting next time. Wink

There should be a big reenactment of Hastings in October 2012. The one is 2006 was pretty good, with 1000 infantry per side and 100 cavalry. Next year's is set to be even bigger.


i dont think the vikings will be silly enough to leave all the weapons on the ships twice in a row. so your gonna have a big problem faing US. (though im a varangian guardsman so in truth id be at stanford bridge if anywhere.)

one question has it ever happened for a group to row a replica ship across the channel, in norman kit etc and reenact the landing of william the conquerer's landing on the south coast of england? possibly marching to hastings?
or at the least gotten a ferry?...

but yeah keep an eye oon the horizon, because you never know one day BAM theres a force of knights on your shore,, what will you do then withoutthe great fyrdof harold godwinson or the great axewielding huscarlls.. NOTHING shall stop us this time.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 8:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:

one question has it ever happened for a group to row a replica ship across the channel, in norman kit etc and reenact the landing of william the conquerer's landing on the south coast of england? possibly marching to hastings?
or at the least gotten a ferry?...


Don't know but most likely they would sail rather than row unless it was a windless day as I think that the Viking ships where swift sailers with a wind behind them, less efficient tacking with a single square sail I assume ?

Rowing would probably be more used closer to shore or going up rivers.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Sep, 2011 10:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
William P wrote:

one question has it ever happened for a group to row a replica ship across the channel, in norman kit etc and reenact the landing of william the conquerer's landing on the south coast of england? possibly marching to hastings?
or at the least gotten a ferry?...


Don't know but most likely they would sail rather than row unless it was a windless day as I think that the Viking ships where swift sailers with a wind behind them, less efficient tacking with a single square sail I assume ?

Rowing would probably be more used closer to shore or going up rivers.

.....good point. but you get what i mean...
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 31 Jul, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
Matthew Bunker wrote:
I hope you managed to get to Falais castle, The Bastard's birthplace?


Nope, but my parents-in-law live in Normandy so I'm there quite regularly. I'll be sure to visit it next time!


I went back to Normandy again and this time I did make it to Falaise castle. It was great, so thanks for the tip! They did a great job of restoring and decorating the place. The ony downside was the audio tour. It talks a lot about the medieval times in general and William's life, but not so much about the castle itself. It's mainly used as a backdrop to tell the story against. Very well done but a little unexpected if you're there for the castle itself.

I got pictures if anyone's interested.

The Knights Hospitaller: http://www.hospitaalridders.nl
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