Wednesday, May 23, 2012
I was up early and downstairs well before breakfast to use the Internet; the B&B owner, Will, felt very badly that I had so many problems with his wifi. But, I was just happy that I was able to connect and send my blog before breakfast.
Will was a wonderful host and we so enjoyed his sitting with us at breakfast; he was a great information source.
On the road east before 9 am; we arrived in Honfleur about 10 am. We found parking in the lot down near the harbor and spent several hours walking around the town. This town is known for many impressionistic artists who came to paint the tall skinny building along the harbor in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Today the artists continue to come and set up their easels to paint these tall ladies that have survived the centuries. There was very little damage here in WW II. We walked through the Wednesday organic food market and into the Church of Saint Catherine that is built like two inverted boats. The church is built entirely of wood except for its foundation. Across the street is the clock tower that also is made of wood.
The old cite is full of half timbered houses; some are so crooked that you wonder how they continue to stand. We’ve decided to bypass Rouen tomorrow as we’ve seen so many half timbered houses already. This way we can spend more time in Giverny.
About noon we walked towards our B&B that is up the hill from the clock tower. We’d discovered when we were reconfirming our reservation before coming that we had accidently made reservations for the wrong day…no problem they said. But when we arrived we discovered the “no problem” was because she booked us at her friend across the street…same rate and terms. We are delighted with the new accommodations…it was a lucky turn of events.
We picked up our room keys and then started back down the hill for the car. Jim’s shoe had broken on the way to the church so we headed for the shoe repair shop…information and map from our new hostess…while Terry and Linda went to pick up the car and find parking near the B&B: Le Fond de la Cour.
We found the shoe shop just before they closed for lunch; the repairman had a good laugh and gave us the French shrug….can’t be done! Next door was a bookstore with stationary supplies. I said let’s try there and sure enough…they had Crazy Glue. We purchased two tubes. Looks like it’s going to work well enough to get us through the next six days in Paris and then we’ll toss the shoes before boarding the airplane for home!!!!
We then started walking back up the hill to the B&B to find the car…we had a key to open the door…but on the way we found Terry and Linda. Back down the hill we found a restaurant on the harbor with crepes and beers. Enjoyed our lunch sitting outside in the sunshine; have I mentioned that it is another glorious day weather wise!! We enjoyed ice cream cones for dessert.
After lunch we strolled back up the hill to the B&B, put all of our luggage in the rooms and then started walking the long trek up the hill to the Cote de Grace. It was about a mile…straight up the hill…to the top. We were hot and sweaty by the time we arrived at the small chapel that honors Mariners with many small boat models hanging from the ceiling and the walls are covered the plaques from sailors in thanksgiving for safe sailing. There were bells outside that we enjoyed recording when they rang on the quarter hour and half hour. Nearby there is a huge cross that is one of the favorite subjects for painters in this area; it overlooks the ports of Honfleur and Le Havre. There is a beautiful new suspension bridge connecting the two ports that bookend the source of the Seine River.
Tonight we going to walk down to the village again for dinner in a nice restaurant that Terry and Linda have picked out on their walk this afternoon. We’ve been enjoying our room; organizing our luggage for the transfer to Paris tomorrow and drinking our bottle of Pineau des Charentes that we purchased yesterday at the store. Actually Jim purchased two because the price was so good and we shared bar of chocolate. Jim also ate his sardines this afternoon…the can that he’d purchased in Chinon to get change for the laundry!
Paris…here we come!