Seine River Cruise
Bonjour—I must share where I’ve been the past two weeks—I’ve been cruising along the coast of France! Our ship began its journey in the lovely village of Honfleur.
We stopped at the American Cemetery. After a brief ceremony, it was especially moving when veterans from our group went up to stand at the memorial after we all sang The Star-Spangled Banner. Later, we placed red and yellow roses on many of the almost 10,000 grave markers.
Next we sailed to Caudebec. Once there we visited Fecamp and the Cliffs of Etretat.
We sailed on to Rouen. Later we spent a special afternoon with a good-humored French monk at the Abbaye St. Wandrille. Despite our language barrier, we learned a lot about his way of life.
Oh, and if you’re ever in Rouen, do NOT miss the sound & light show at Notre Dame Cathedral–every night from 11 to midnight (check for seasonal time changes).
The next day we set sail for Les Andelys. Although there was always lots to see while cruising (wild horses!) …there was also plenty of onboard activities held each day, as well, such as French lessons, watercolor and cooking classes, Impressionism study, and various entertainments.
Once in Les Andelys, we had a fun hike up to the Chateau Gaillard. What a view!
Next stop: Vernon. First thing in the morning, we piled onto a bus for Giverny to tour Monet‘s gorgeous home and gardens which I’ll be saving for an upcoming blog post.
Later that afternoon we visited French homes in small groups. At ours (which also happens to be a Bed & Breakfast) we were served cider, lemonade, croissants, and apple cake. Our host’s eclectic collections were interesting, to say the least. At one point we realized we were tiptoeing across a real zebra skin, complete from head to tail, that her father had hunted down years ago. 😦
The following day we found ourselves in Conflans-Saint-Honorine and then a trip to Auvers sur Oise to discover where Van Gogh was inspired.
Soon we arrived in Paris where an optional tour of the Palace of Versailles was offered. And if you go to the top of the Galaries Lafayette roof, you’ll find an awesome view of the whole city.