Concluding this tour in Paris puts us back where we started. We view islands in the Seine and old Notre Dame. There are more eyefuls of the Eiffel day and night, a spectacular war museum, and two new points of interest “discovered” that will be favored memories.
If you had a ‘Bone(a)’ to pick with me, ‘apart(e)’ from my wordplay, one might wonder how “France” and “history” have been topics throughout this trip yet Napoleon Bonaparte merits no mention save a day-5 statue in Rouen.
On day six, his house is ours to visit. This is not the Palace of Versailles that was residence to kings since 1682, over 100 years before he made himself Emperor of the French people (1804). It is a generously landed estate and not a bad house, as the name “Malmaison” might literally imply.
I’ve now posted on this blog site details and photos of the first 5 days of a July trip to Normandy, France, adding days 4 and 5 to the original 3 days posted recently.
Find all 5 days and more coverage soon,
at My Travel Page for Normandy 2018.
The charm of the day-5 port stop is the realism of Rouen. Streets bustle with the working class. Old buildings have been restored to function as a city hall, courthouse, or retail shop, not simply as monuments to the architecture they exude.
Five street scenes of Rouen should scroll automatically below.
Four score minus six years ago
sons and fathers came ashore
on the beaches of Normandy
to liberate a land
occupied by Nazi forces.
This day is spent on hallowed ground of heroes bordering grainy sands of grief, with monuments to glorify their cause.
In the land of Normandy on the flow of the River Seine, the Avalon Tapestry II continues a northwest heading down-river to our farthest docking point from Paris, Caudebec en Caux.
Tour guides and ship personnel are fully fluent in English, thus only bits of French language are learned. We gather that Caudebec en Caux rhymes with the English word for the grazing bovines seen in the Norman meadows. I sarcastically wonder if perhaps “Caudebec” is the word for “bus;” it seems everything to be seen from here is via motor coach, often at significant distance. Continue reading Day3: Abbeys, Honfleur
Our first berth outside Paris is Vernon, where we clawed our way on a road under repair to Claude Monet’s gardens at nearby Giverny. This is his home, the second most visited tourist site in France, where every day people flock to see the magical inspiration that he termed his “greatest masterpiece.”
The “masterpiece” quote refers not to art, but rather the flowering gardens of beauty, color, and light nurtured by his own hand. He worked them as delicately as his canvas creations. Continue reading Day2: Monet, Monet
Equipping myself for travel goes well beyond packing. The prelude to visiting France and the World War II D-Day landing beaches was a four-hour college professor’s seminar followed by 500 pages of Winston Churchill’s history.
On arrival day in Paris, attention is commanded by the city sights of the Seine, the Louvre, and Eiffel’s icon.
Continue reading Day1: Paris Stroll
What does one do on the last night of the trip? Consider that our 6:10am flight means a wake-up time of 2:30am, luggage placed in the ship’s hall by 2:45am, and all-aboard the airport bus at 3:30am.
Early to bed? Stay up all night? That debate was on-going when we learned the ship would be moved to another dock after dark and the captain was going to give us one last showing of Budapest’s best. Continue reading Night12: Budapest Bright
‘Tis our last day in Europe. The people here have been most accommodating; the streets sometimes not so much?
It is a marvel to encounter the English-speaking ability of the folks across Eastern Europe. I had very little reason to learn bits of Czech, Austrian-German, or Hungarian; it wasn’t necessary. How can they master their language and grasp ours so well? English is hard, as this example might demonstrate: Continue reading Day12: Bow, Bow, Budapest