In case you were wondering, the bomb didn’t explode (whew!). Here is what happened while I was off Campus.

It turns out that this year’s Valentine’s Day will be hard to top because this Valentine’s Day I had one of the most prominent figures of history as my date.

He’s had tapestries and castles built in his honor and although he has a pretty gnarly haircut and wears avant-garde clothing, I didn’t mind the company. Besides, being with a celebrity all day makes you overlook a lot of dissimilarities! He’s French, he’s royalty and he’s an outdoors man.

Yes, I know you already guessed who my date was by this point, but I’ll tell you anyway. William the Conquerer and I spent the whole of Sunday together, and I learned all about him via the beautiful Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux, France.

For the background of my date, you have to understand The Battle of Hastings. It happened like this: In 1066 AD, Edward, King of England, was going to kick the bucket. He sent his brother in law, Harold, to meet William (who was currently Duke of Normandy at the time) and tell William that he was heir to the throne of England. Congratulations, etc, etc, etc. Well, Harold told William, returned to England and found that Old King Edward has already been on the “other side” for quite some time. Harold, then, took the throne for himself and then all sorts of bad happened. William, still in Normandy, decided that that sort of behavior was not okay and sent the whole of France over in a siege to take back the English crown. The Battle of Hastings thus ensues and Harold is killed, William the Conquerer crowned King of England and all was right in the world.

The Bayeux Tapestry that we saw yesterday depicts, in beautiful embroidery, the whole Battle of Hastings and how William the Conquerer came to be called-so. The Tapestry is 19 inches tall by 203 FEET long. It wraps all the way around a room in the Bayeux museum. It’s an anthropological goldmine because of the unique stitching on the tapestry. We know what people looked like, what they wore and what kind of weapons and preparations went into battle. We even know what kind of hairstyles the people from each side of the battle had (bad hairstyles). It’s beautiful. Stitched on woven linen in 1066, the Tapestry is one of a kind.

Only a very small section of the Bayeux Tapestry

We (4 other Americans and a Frenchman!) also got to tour the most beautiful church I have seen yet: Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux. I hope you enjoy the picture as much as I do. It was stunning. After enjoying the Tapestry, the church and by this time freezing our tails off, we went to a great little brasserie (restaurant) for Valentine’s Day lunch.

Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Bayeux

So yeah. William the Conquerer and I are basically going out. Well, at least we spent Valentine’s Day together. And for a king and someone just studying abroad…. well, that’s not too shabby.