Boston to Rouen, France – September 18-19, 2015

I thought I might try to blog a little about this Normandy-Brittany walking tour I am on. As most of you know, my husband has been riding his bike (bicycle, not motorcycle) across the USA. He turns 60 next year (as do I) and he decided to “repeat his feat” (he rode cross country after graduating college). I figured while he was challenging himself I would also challenge myself by going on a walking trip.

After asking around I settled on Country Walkers. Now where did I want to go? My first instinct was Great Britain but quickly thought better of it. May be too rainy/foggy. So I added Spain, France, and Italy. Wasn’t sure how hard a trip I wanted so selected easy to moderate. (I’ve been working out three days a week, I should be able to handle that.) Finally I read over the descriptions of each trip still in the running. Many looked good but when I got to the Normandy-Brittany tour, things stared to click. On the coast, ocean and cliffs…yes! Visit Mont St. Michel…yes!

Mont St Michele

Mont St Michele

Normandy beaches (Omaha Beach) from WWII….yes! Bayeux Tapestry….yes!

Bayeaux Tapestry and, oh look!, isn't that Mont St Michele in the background?

Bayeux Tapestry and, oh look!, isn’t that Mont St Michele in the background?

One of the guides is a geologist….clinched it!

So yesterday (Friday) I finally got on the Air France flight…rather uneventful though uncomfortably crowded…until I realized that I had lost the Monster water bottle I had borrowed from David. A quick visit to the crew and it was recovered. Finally I landed at the airport around 9:45 this am but the folks who were supposed to meet me and get me to Rouen never showed up. After a bunch of expensive phone calls back to the states I finally took a taxi and 315€ later I got here around 4. Supposedly I am being reimbursed for that and they sent me a small bottle of wine to my room. Which I am drinking now with a wonderful sandwich I got around the corner. I went out and walked around and went into the beautiful cathedral here.

Rouen Cathedral

Rouen Cathedral

Some of you may recognize this cathedral as painted by a French artist named Monet.

One of Monet's painting of Rouen Cathedral

One of Monet’s painting of Rouen Cathedral

Scale Model of Rouen Cathedral

Scale Model of Rouen Cathedral

Alas I missed both Mass and Confession. However I did stop by to visit one of the saints, St Jude, patron saint of lost causes.

St Jude looking the worse for wear.

St Jude looking the worse for wear.

Next door is where Joan of Arc was tried and a couple of blocks away she was burned at the stake. Her ashes were unceremoniously dumped in the Seine. Rollo Rognvaldsson, first Duke of Normandy, is buried in the cathedral. He was one of the most powerful “North Man” in Normandy.

The first Duke of Normandy Rollo's grave in Rouen Cathedral.

The first Duke of Normandy Rollo’s grave in Rouen Cathedral. I 

Also saw the famous Gros Horloge or Clock Tower.

Gros Horloge

Gros Horloge

Tomorrow I meet up with the group and shuttle and walk to Honfleur France.

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