Wednesday July 9th ~ Le Havre and Honfleur France
Today is the last full day of our British Isles Cruise.
Our ship docked in Le Havre, France early in the morning. Many on board were taking the ships tour to Paris, or to Versailles Palace, or the Louvre Museum, or Notre Dame, or to see the Normandy Landing Beaches. These tours were offered with prices ranging from $199 – $279 per person ($398 to $558 for the two of us). Since we spent 10 days in Paris a few years back, were more interested in seeing something new. Besides the high prices to sit on the bus for three hours in each direction turned us off.
So what were our options?
The one that stood out most for me was to take a field trip to the small 13th-century fishing village of Honfleur. To get there we first took a taxi from the ship to the bus station – 8 Euros including tip. The bus ride (30 minutes) was 15.52 Euros round trip for two. And the taxi back to the ship 8 Euros. So for under 32 Euros ($43.50 USD total for the two of us – or around 10% of the ship tour costs), we had a wonderful day trip.
Honfleur was once the base for France’s 17th-century voyages of colonization as well as the birthplace of the impressionist and Romantic art movements. The town still has an artistic soul. Walking along the old dock area that dates back to 1681, we pass by the Lieutenance and the Vieux Bassin.
There are numerous charming sidewalk cafe’s to choose from.
We decided to order a bucket of the local specialty – mussels in creme sauce and a side of pomme frite (french fries). Delish!
The women of Honfleur used to wade out to the estuary to harvest the mussels, ‘the mussel gatherers”, and a memorial statue along the main boulevard commemorates this history, “Le Statuaire des Moulieres”.
St Catherine’s Church was built by shipwrights and is the largest wooden church with a separate bell-tower in France.
The shipwrights fashioned the ceiling of the church using inverted ship hulls for the design.
One of the fun things we stumbled upon today was finding a “Gusette”. My cousin, Ginny, suggested we find a companion for our “Gus” to use in setting up vignettes as we have been doing back and forth with our oh-so-clever room steward, Dariusz. It is rather late in the game since we get off the ship early in the morning, but we did manage to get one last set-up done.
Here is artist Gus, sketching his new companion.
I shall miss the frivolous playing, and laugh-out-loud moments that we have been provided by “D” and one silly stuffed animal.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am thankful for a lack self-consciousness and a healthy dose of self-confidence. I am grateful for not being too old to act like a child, to be able to let the little girl inside come out to play, for being able to laugh out loud, and embrace those silly moments for no other reason than because I can.
I love “Gusette”! I can see what a great muse she is. Gus has a lot of “VanJo” in him!
Ginny this has been such silly fun. And thank you for my very first painting lesson. My apple painting is on display in the living room at our cabin.
I had the opportunity to visit the city Honflur. In 1967. It.was a city worth spending a good time,like to go back someday,it was such a beautiful city 😍
Arne, it is still beautiful and worthy of a revisit, though Im guessing it has become more touristy over the years.