Just a side note – we have now returned safe and sound to Southern California. My normal M.O. is to blog in real-time as we go. This time three factors played heavily in my breaking with this tradition:
- The internet service on our second cruise ship, the SS Catherine was not up to speed, making it painfully difficult to get onto the Internet and next to impossible to upload pictures. I understand from a good source that this problem has been identified and corrected for future sailings.
- I came down with a respiratory infection which zapped my energy.
- I decided to just enjoy the journey, take it all in along with a ton of pictures and promised myself that I would get caught up when I got back home. Each post takes me several hours to do, so it was a nice break to conserve my energy, concentrate on healing, and in this case “take time to smell the lavender”.
I love sharing our adventures, pictures and bits of trivia we learn along the way, but first and foremost this is my travel journal to help me remember this amazing journey called life. There is much to share from our last 10 days in France, so hopefully with no further interruptions…
Thursday, July 23rd (continued) – Honfleur, northern France
We visited this charming fishing village just a year ago and loved it. Although we hoped at the time to be able to return some day to Honfleur, this treat came much sooner than anticipated. We did not have time to get another bucket of muscles cooked in cream, but still enjoyed a walk through town. There is something to catch your eye around every corner.
This is one of those cute small villages where you want to pull up a chair at a local sidewalk cafe, order a pint or a glass of wine and indulge in the local fresh seafood. I would definitely recommend adding Honfleur to any travel itinerary that brings you to Northern France.
Another thing France is noted for is of course their many varieties of wine. We were in the Calvados region however where they are famous for their cider brandy production. Our next stop was for an introductory tours of how the famous Calvados cider is made, followed by lunch and some tasting.
“The fruit is harvested and pressed into a juice that is fermented into a dry cider. It is then distilled into eau de vie. After two years of aging in oak casks, it can be sold as calvados. The longer it is aged, the smoother the drink may become. Typically, the maturation goes on for several years.” ~ Wikipedia
Most calvados is made from apples, however pears can also be used.
The last stop of the day was to see the famous cliffs of Étretat. By the time we got here, I was tired and I was left feeling like all we got was a little nibble of what might be a lovely village to spend more time. I give our Uniworld guides and drivers high praise for being able to get us to each location on our itinerary using back country roads to avoid the farmers strike. It would have been nice to have been able to hike to the top of the cliffs for a better view, but sadly that was not possible under our time constraints.
“Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet” ~ Wikipedia
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful that our wish to return to Honfleur someday came sooner rather than later. I also greatly appreciate all the extra work and effort that went into getting us past the farmer’s strike and to each destination on our itinerary.