Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.
Paris to Rouen:
After having spent a couple of days in Paris and doing the normal touristy things we finally connected with one of our close friend’s dad. We had no plan or any clue where we were headed but we knew we were in good hands & company.We started our trip from Paris ST REMY les Chevreuse early morning and took the A13 to Rouen, a 2 hr drive from Paris.Rouen is a port on the river Seine and the capital of the region of Normandy and where Joan of Arc was killed.
The Church of Caudebec-en-Caux:
The Church of Caudebec-en-Caux, 27 miles from Rouen on the banks of the River Seine constructed in the 15th/16th Century.
Abbaye due Saint-Wandrille:
Our next stop is the Abbaye due Saint-Wandrille also know as Fontenelle Abbey or the Abbey of St Wandrille a Benedictine monastery in the nearby village of Saint-Wandrille-Rançon.The village has a lot of beautiful Half timbered houses some of which have been converted to restaurants and homestays.The whole abbey is not open to the general public, but we were able to see the ruins of the old abbey and was fortunate to attend the noon service where the Monks gather to sing “The office of Sext”. A surreal aural once-in-a lifetime experience (Sounds like some Gregorian chants to me but I might be wrong).
Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.
From the Abbey of St Wandrille, we made our way west to Honfluer, a harbour popular with painters like Monet and Boudin. The many wooden and slate houses around the harbor provides a great background for painters who travel here all round the year.
The Sainte-Catherine church a Church with an upside down boat shape is an all-wooden church and one of the last remaining big all-wooden church remaining in France.
The next day we visited Le Mont-Saint-Michel a UNESCO World Heritage site situated on an island just off the Couesnon River near Avranches. The Benedictine Abbey of St Michel is one of the most visited tourist attractions in France. The island itself looks like a mediaeval city which still has a few permanent full-time inhabitants. There are some hotels you can stay within the island which are more on the expensive side. A better option would be to stay in and around nearby towns. It is advisable to track the tides timings so that you can view the surrounding with and without the high tides.It has one of the highest tidal variations of almost 15meters in Europe.
Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.
We started our Journey back to Paris via A11 and stopped at Chartres a city 96Kms southwest of Paris best known for it’s Cathedrals. We visited the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres which is considered one of the finest and best preserved Gothic cathedrals in France and in Europe.The Cathedral is well known for its stained glass windows.
We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.