Monday, September 18th, 2000 Caen and Rouen
We departed from St. Malo a day early so that we could take a more leisurely drive to Brugge on the 19th. We drove until about noon when we reached Caen. We drove around the castles and old buildings in town and then headed for the WW II Museum called the Peace Memorial. It was only completed in 1988 and one could easily spend an entire day there to see everything. All of the information was in English, French and German. It told the story from all perspectives. Even the building layout was very symbolic and part of the story. Very moving display of information. We only stayed a couple of hours and then went on our way to Rouen where we arrived about 3 PM.
Drove to the Villa Centre and found a two star hotel in the square called Hotel Vieille Tour. Very clean, and simply built, but reasonably priced and includes breakfast. Then we walked to the main cathedral, which was painted by Monet several times. Then on to the Abbey and another huge church. The town is full of half timbered buildings, block after block of them.
We finally found the spot where they burned Joan of Arc centuries ago. There was a plaque commemorating that and a very modernistic church, which reminded me of the hats that Dutch Nuns wear with a huge peek and flowing roof that swooped down. The monument was a very tall pole (as in she was burned on a pole) and at the top was a cross.
Nothing open to eat yet, getting very hungry but walked back to the hotel. There we asked the desk clerk for recommendations for Pizza place.He sent us all the way back to where we’d been with Joan of Arc. But, it was worth it. We found Chez Pepe off the side street and were the first to enter as it was about 6:55 pm. A Mother and daughter soon entered with their two dogs and sat next to us during dinner. We had a great shared pizza with beer. Jim had two Coronas and I drank two Heinekens. Then desserts: I enjoyed orange ice cream with Grand Marnier over it. Jim had vanilla ice cream with whipped cream, chocolate, and meringue pieces. Oh so very good. A slow walk home to see the Seine River....yes it travels south from here to Paris!