France is on my mind after the events of last week. I flew home from Paris only three weeks ago. After a peaceful trip with some lovely people, it’s hard to imagine the horrors of the terrorist attack last week. I’ll focus on the former in honor of the world’s most beloved culture and le joie de la vie française.
My friend Sue asked me to share an apartment with her for a week in Paris. Not wanting to fly all the way to Europe for only a week, I looked for something else a single traveler could do. I hit upon a four night cruise down the Seine and back with a French cruise line which was reasonably priced and had a very low single supplement fare.
We started in Paris in the evening, which is where all my pictures from this previous post came from: https://cindamackinnon.wordpress.com/2015/10/15/paris-at-night-city-lights-photos/
The 95% of the cruisers were French and the rest were Europeans and Canadians, while only three were Americans. This gave me an excellent chance to practice my French, although twice I got lost in one on one conversations that went on for another ten or more minutes. I had a vague idea of the topic, (at that time the main topic of conversation was the refugees), but I was too embarrassed to tell the man at that stage that I had no idea what point he was trying to make!
The itinerary stated we would “pass through the town of Vernon…. arriving in Les Andelys.” Now wouldn’t you think that would mean that we could get off in Les Andelys? No, not allowed! Only those who were going on the rather expensive excursion by bus could get off, but they didn’t get to walk around the charming town of Les Andelys either. I had not signed up for the excursion because I didn’t want to spend 6-7 hours on a bus (especially since I had jet lag).
The bus folks met us that night in Rouen, the former capital of Normandy and home of Joan of Arc.
William the Conqueror was present for the original consecration of Rouen Cathedral in 1063. It later destroyed but rebuilt over the centuries in the Gothic style so admired by Claude Monet who created some 30 paintings of the facade in a variety of lighting.
Next time: Honfleur, Giverny and Rouen. …and there will be a quiz 😉