France 2015
Day 2

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This is the story of our trip to France in May of 2015.  It was part of a round the world trip that also included London
and the USA (New York, Niagara Falls, Canyon Country and the Tall Trees)'

Day 1 of our tour - Paris to Rouen - Honfleur - Caen (overnight) - approximately 300km  

Tour description:

Hop aboard your luxury air-conditioned coach in the morning and travel out from central Paris toward the Normandy countryside to begin your tour. Stop off in the medieval city of Rouen the historic capital city of Normandy and explore the charming Old Town with your guide. Continue on to the pretty seaside town of Honfleur widely known for its picturesque port and fresh sea air. Enjoy free time for lunch at your leisure (own expense) and soak up the relaxing, coastal atmosphere. Honfleur is a real gem of a town, with many traditional craft shops, welcoming cafés and waterside walks to explore.  Head onward to the beaches of Normandy, where Allied forces attacked the advancing German forces during the World War II Normandy landings. Pass the beach of Omaha where many thousands of brave soldiers lost their lives in battle and visit the American Cemetery of Saint-Laurent and Arromanches.


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Day - 2 The Tour Starts      Day - 2 The Tour Starts
Our tour starts today, we need to be at the Tour Company's office by 6:45AM - so it was up early, grab a breakfast basket from the hotel, including a coffee and walk around the corner wheeling our luggage to their offices.  It was an easy walk as not many people were up that early.  We registered, found our bus and off we went travelling via the Arch of Triumph and onto a freeway out of the city.  Leaving the city was easy, but those coming in were having some congestion problems.  The forest seemed similar to those we have seen in England and Germany.  Farms were growing familiar crops.
We arrived at Roen after a couple of hours drive and headed off on our first guided tour - to the Rouen Cathedral, a gothic church, very old and very striking. Then via the Rue Gros Horloge under the Gros Horloge clock and down past historic buildings to the cross of Joan of Arc and the new church of Joan of Arc.  This is a contempary building fitted with stained glass windows from the 17th century.
After a short break we went back to the bus and on to Honfleur, a lovely sea port.  Here we were led to the main historic port area and shown the old wooden church - Saint Catherines.  We then had an hour for lunch to further explore the old town area.  We bought lunch from a local bakery and heading  back to the bus we came across a historic loo and the historic stone Church of Saint-Léonard and nearby the open air historic wash house.
Moving on, our next stop was Omaha Beach where a new steel sculpture was sited on the beach. Initially only temporary, it is still there by popular opinion. Next we visited the American cemetery of Saint-Laurent & Arromanches. Tourists were there from all over the world. Then on to a hotel for the night in Caen.

Day 2


Leaving Paris via the Arch of Triumph of the Star Yes, we all seem to have Tollways Along the Tollway
Lovely rolling fields   Latest safety gear - just check out the broom.  Must work OK.
Heading to the Rouen Cathedral
Also refered to as the
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen
Side door - Rouen Cathedral. The front  - Rouen Cathedral.
Buskers - they're everywhere Our brilliant guide - Dominique 49.440230° N, 1.094749° E
Built in the Gothic style. A church has been at this site since 396AD  
Inside the Rouen Cathedral. Choir height 28m.  
Tomb of Richard the Lionheart, 1157-99 - it is said that it contains only his heart. A wooden model of the Cathedral.  
  Original statues, now worn down have brought inside.  New statues replaced them.  
  The Cathedral dominates the city. The spire at 151m made this the world's tallest building, 1876 - 1880. Gros Horloge is a fourteenth-century astronomical clock. A 24 hour clock as it has only 1 hand.
Movement made in 1389, the facade added in 1529 and is 2.5m across Icons show what day it is.
It was electrified in the 1920's and restored in1997.
Under the clock arch.
Typical historical building   Some buildings were relocated here after WW2
    A large cross where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake.

La Ferme Jeanne D'Arc or
Church of Saint Joan of Arc

Bust - Joan of Arc. Stained glass windows come from the 16th century Church of Saint Vincent.
  A modern church, completed in 1979.  
  Yum! The Pont de Normandie
The port town of Honfleur. The dock was built in 1681  
Saint Catherine's Clocktower.  I was told that the roof trusses of Saint Catherine's Church are made like a boat's keel. It seemed to have two Altars.
The largest wooden church in France    
Finally - an old fashioned French Toilet.
I used the modern one to the right.
Church of Saint-Léonard, Honfleur Main entrance supports a octagonal bell-tower  - constructed in 1760
The church itself was built around 1600. A traditional open-air wash house (lavoir) is still fed by hillside springs  
Along the way to the Omaha Beach Omaha Beach memorial  

Les Braves Memorial of Omaha Beach

Completed 2004 - the 60th anniversary of D-Day. American cemetery of Saint-Laurent & Arromanches.
"The Sprit of American Youth Rising From The Waves"
How the landings were planned.    
    Site of the Artificial Harbor near Omaha.
Portable roadway/Jetty. A train for the tourists. Caen Harbour.


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