A Travellerspoint blog

October 2013

Paris and the Seine

Rouen

semi-overcast 60 °F

We spent the day today in Rouen, one of the great medieval cities of Europe - wonderfully beautiful and majestic. It was about 45% destroyed during World War II, but luckily the Cathedral of Notre Dame du Rouen survived as it is one of the greatest churches in Europe. It was also the site of the burning of Joan of Arc in May of 1431. As a young girl she claimed to have received divine guidance to support Charles VII and free her homeland from English domination. She was declared a martyr 25 years after her death and was canonized in 1920. There is a memorial at the point of her execution. The other fascinating facility of Rouen is the Great Clock, which contains some one of the oldest clock mechanisms in the world. We chose not to do the walking tour, but spent a leisurely morning and then went out on our own after lunch. We had tied up only about 2 blocks from Notre Dame, so it was very easy to get around. After returning we relaxed a little and enjoyed the Captain's Gala Dinner as we were spending the night in Rouen.

DSC_1433a.jpgDSC_1437a.jpgDSC_1436a.jpgDSC_1457a.jpgDSC_1443a.jpgDSC_1453a.jpgDSC_1479a.jpg

Posted by rpickett 03:36 Archived in France Tagged rouen Comments (0)

Paris and the Seine

The Beaches of Normandy

overcast 58 °F

For the "Greatest Generation" of Americans, Canadians, English and the French from Normandy, no event in the Battle of Europe in WWII was more important than the D-Day invasion. To visit the beaches is a remarkable experience, necessary to put the landing into geographic prospective giving perspective to the Hollywood version depicted by Saving Private Ryan - perhaps the best portrayal of Normandy there is according to survivors - et al.
After about a three hour ride we arrive at Arromanches where the Allies built a complete port in about 14 days. It is located between Sword and Juno beaches. Some of the concrete breakwaters still remain - the only ones left on the beaches. The other supply centers were removed.

DSC_1344a.jpgDSC_1348a.jpg

From there we went to Point du Hoc - the initial invasion point or the US Army Rangers. The took heavy losses, but succeeded and took the point - heavily fortified with bunkers, but the guns were pulled off of the coast by GEN Rommel because they were too close to the coast.

DSC_1362a.jpgDSC_1374a.jpg

Our next stop was Omaha Beach. Although a pristine beach now, with probably expensive beach houses lining the coast line between the beach and the cliffs, you can imagine what the shoreline looked like in 1944, As any good Sailor would, I walked to the surfs edge and put my shoes in the advancing water.

DSC_1379a.jpgDSC_1380a.jpg

Our final stop was the US Cemetery in Normandy, which explains the sacrifice many very young Americans made for the greater good. I walked from one end of the cemetery to the other, humbly, in awe of what my parent's generation did for the Freedom that we enjoy in some of our world.

DSC_1403a.jpgDSC_1406a.jpg

Posted by rpickett 00:54 Archived in France Tagged beaches normandy Comments (0)

Paris and the Seine

Cruising and Caudebec en Caux

overcast 60 °F

We spent the morning heading into the tidal section of the Seine passing Rouen and then meandering to the coast.
DSC_1266a.jpg
We tied up at about noon and left for our Abbey's of Normandy tour at 1:15pm

Our first stop was the active Benedictine Abbey of Saint Wandrille de Fountenelle. According to our guide, it is alive and well with about 10 monks in residence under the age of 30.
DSC_1284a.jpgDSC_1285a.jpg

The second Abbey was the ruins of the Abbey at Jumieges,
large_DSC_1295a.jpgDSC_1299a.jpg

Our final stop was former Abbey of Saint Georges de Boscherville. The Abbey doesn't exist any longer, but the church is still active. All of these Abbeys were founded somewhere between the Seventh Century and the eleventh century. The interesting point to me was that these abbeys are in much better shape than similar ones in Ireland. Chaine de Rotisseurs menu tonight and off to the beaches at 8:15am in the morning,
DSC_1313a.jpgDSC_1330a.jpg

Posted by rpickett 10:51 Archived in France Comments (0)

Paris and the Seine

Vernon and The Gardens of Claude Monet

sunny 70 °F

We got underway about 10:15pm last night and many headed topside to watch the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Heading north on the river we traversed four sets of locks during the night and arrived at the wonderful little village of Vernon at about 10:30am this morning. As our morning was free we wandered into town to visit the 14th century church and tour the Saturday market. After a light lunch it was off to Claude Monet's home town of Giverny - about 4 kms away to visit his gardens and his house. Although it was cloudy with a few sprinkles in the morning, the afternoon turned out to be a wonderful day. The Monet gardens and house were spectacular. We were lucky as they close at the end of this month in a few days. We then went back to the ship, and will get underway early this upcoming morning. We also get a plus in that Europe falls back tonight so we get and extra hour of sleep.
DSC_1164a.jpgDSC_1178a.jpgDSC_1187a.jpgDSC_1232a.jpgDSC_1245a.jpgDSC_1233a.jpg974CA86C2219AC68175B68BB80E0085E.jpgDSC_1215a.jpg

Posted by rpickett 03:35 Archived in France Comments (0)

Paris and the Seine

AMALegro

overcast 64 °F

We had a leisurely morning today. After another great breakfast and some relaxing, we went back out on the Champs Elysee again for more perfume on orders from the home front. I am now in possession of 200 Eur of liquid gold. At the noon check out time from the Champ Elysee Plaza, four of us boarded our taxi for the 20 minute ride the the Seine quay where AMAlegro is docked. Official embarkation time was 3:00pm, but they welcomed us on board and had soup, sandwiches and drinks ready for us in the lounge. For those who flew in overnight, it was a long wait as they surely hadn't been able to sleep that much on the flight over. The rest of the afternoon will be leisurely and we head north at 11:00pm tonight.
DSC_1160a.jpgDSC_1162a.jpg

Posted by rpickett 05:13 Archived in France Comments (0)

(Entries 1 - 5 of 6) Page [1] 2 » Next