Guest Blog 4: Travel to Honfleur from our base in Bayeux, France

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Friday, Oct 2 Travel to Honfleur

My sister and brother-in-law, Bev and Gord Simpson, are in France for 2 weeks (Sept 22- Oct 6, 2015).  I’m living vicariously through them. I think it must be time for another trip to France!  Bev and Gord live in Toronto and are avid travelers, Gord is the photographer and Bev the writer, together they make a great team. Enjoy!

Today we headed north to Honfleur starting off on the highway and then heading to the coast north of the beaches towards Le Havre. Below is one of several carefully maintained thatch-roofed houses on the way to Honfleur. Note the decorative work. Many of the homes had scrolled flowers into the manicuring of the roofs. We pass beautifully maintained yards and gardens in the towns. The farms are immaculate with vast fields growing lots of corn and other crops we don’t always recognize

Map of Normandy France

Map of Normandy France

Deauville and Trouville, seaside towns on the way to Honfleur

We pass through Deauville and Trouville, busy beachside towns that have a long history of attracting wealthy families in summer. Honfleur is our target, and we easily find the busy Quai, which has been hosting people for over a thousand years. Today it’s packed with walkers, boaters, and photographers – the sunlit cafes and restaurants – dozens and dozens of them all side by side – are full, it’s a Friday in early October.


The buildings on the quai are impressive and iconic – they are very tall and skinny – up to 8 floors high, touching each other, each with its color palette and windows new or old. Businesses occupy most, often art galleries or second floors of restaurants but some seem to be lived in, with flowers on the window sills. Sailing boats are everywhere and occasional fishing boats although they perhaps have a separate harbor. Honfleur, the home of Samuel de Champlain who found the St Lawrence River, is a bustling tourist attraction with loads of history.



St Catherine’s Church, Honfleur

We visit the very old wooden St Catherines Church. The story has it that in the mid-1500s the citizens of Honfleur wanted to thank God for the fact that the British had left their country after the 100 years war. Stone and stonemasons were in high demand and short supply, but the locals were undeterred. Using what they knew—building wooden ships—they built a wooden church that has survived and is still very active 500 years later.

Saturday, October 3  Leaving Bayeux for Paris. 

An early breakfast in our beautiful dining room restaurant at the Villa Lara. It is kitted out in true French fashion with all the best in tableware and linens but with a country flavor to the décor. The food is excellent with all you can eat juices and fruits, yogurts and cheeses, eggs, and meats, bread, and jams. And café au lait – my favorite, is de rigeur here. It is so easy to request warm milk that comes to the table in a lovely little pitcher poured at your leisure. I am using the hot milk on my granola and oats as well to keep my clicking jaw under control.

Off to Paris 

This morning we take our little car back to the Hertz at the local gas station and take a cab back to the train station with another group also returning their vehicle – they are from North Carolina.

We walk to the train station in Bayeux with our pull cases – takes about 20 minutes – it’s another beautiful sunny day – and await the 14:40 to Paris. The trains are excellent, always on time with comfortable seating. They travel at significant speeds on the excellent tracks that are common all over Europe. Canada could take a lesson!

 

About

I'm in my sixties with the world at my feet and thoughts mostly of "where to next?". I retired in 2017, sold my house in Massachusetts and most of my furniture and "stuff." When not traveling you can find me in Florida in the winter and Rhode Island in the summer. Travel has been a passion from a young age, over the years I've discovered I'm a traveler, not a tourist. I prefer traveling solo, with a travel friend, or small groups. Whenever possible I would rather spend time in one place rather than moving around. I'll never turn down an opportunity to go to France, but my travels have taken me all over the world. I've met some incredible people and had some fantastic experiences.

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