Monday, November 1, 2010

Normandy Week: From Paris to Honfleur

 Notre Dame Cathedral in Rouen
 The 14th Century Gros Horloge
A very chic kids shop in Rouen 
 In the market area of Rouen
We have some dear friends who are considering a trip to France with us, and since they live in California, and can't come over to my house to see my photo albums, and since Cookie folded before we published the story on Normandy, and since I haven't blogged about it yet...I decided the best way to share Normandy with them, and all of you, was to do a week (or more) of posts here.  There are so many reasons to go to Normandy, but beyond all of them, which you'll know by week's end, is how close it is to Paris. You leave Paris at 9:30am, and you'll pull in to Monet's garden (just five minutes off the highway), about an hour later. Yes, you might run into the American family you saw at the Musee d'Orsay, and feel like you're totally on a tour bus, but it's lovely to stop in, even for just a half an hour. And then you can cross it off your list and don't have to go again. (If you want to read more details about anything I mention here, I did a road trip story on the area, but not geared towards families, in October 2010 Travel+Leisure.)  Afterwards, we diverted about 15 minutes off the highway to Rouen, best known as the site where they burned Joan of Arc.  We parked our car in the old town, underneath a fantastic covered market, where, it turns out, was exactly the spot Joan died. With Clara on a loop of "but why did they kill her?" we walked around the town, found a great chocolate shop, saw the cathedral that Monet painted, the Gros Horloge (big clock), a very chic kids shop, and hit the road. We had to get to Honfleur by evening, where we stayed at the lovely Hotel des Loges.

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