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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Haute Normandie, France

May 26, 2013 - Giverny and back to England

We rose early this morning because we have over 450 miles to cover today. The hotel's breakfast room was on the top floor and when we entered we discovered the room had floor to ceiling windows giving us a spectacular view of Clermont-Ferrand. Of course the black outline of the Notre-Dame de Clermont with its 108-meter spires immediately drew our attention. It looked quite similar in construction to the famous Notre-Dame in Paris, including the iconic flying buttresses. I thought the black color was a result of years of pollution during the...

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May 13, 2013 - Rouen and Honfleur

We had a long drive to Rouen today, to see the famous cathedral and an impressionist art exhibition. This is the town where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake. Today we found it to be a most charming place, with interesting architecture and beautiful shops. The Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen is a huge Gothic structure. The current building was started in the 12th century. It is seen in many paintings by Monet. He did a series of over 30 paintings of the cathedral in the 1890s. The building itself is immense and has suffered much damage...

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May 8, 2013 - Honfleur

We thought we were on top of this time zone business. But when we left Falmouth, England to go to Le Havre, France we lost another hour. That wouldn’t be so silly if we weren’t going back to England again tomorrow to stop in Dover and get that hour back. Then on to Rotterdam and the hour will disappear once more. With each changing time zone we are also changing money - euros to pounds to euros to pounds to euros. It would be easy for an old person to get confused. At least today we were driving on the right side of the road once...

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Nov 9, 2012 - Heading back to Paris

We arrived this mornings in Les Andelys, a little town nestled in the bend of the river with the white cliffs on the hillside. It compromises 2 villages separated by the River Gambon, Petit Andelys and Grand Andelys. It was of great strategic importance in the Middle Ages due to its location between Normandy and Vexin. We walked through the town up the hill to the ruins of Gaillard Castle. It was built from 1196-97 by Richard the Lionhearted to protect Rouen from attacks by French King Philip Augustus. Richard died in 1199 and his less...

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Out in Africa

Nov 7, 2012 - Bad, Bad Guide

sailed during the night and arrived this morning at Rouen. This is the halfway point between Paris and the sea. Considered the capital of upper Normandy, it is the region's largest city with population of 200,000. Founded by the Romans as Rotamagus. Christianity arrived in the 3rd century and became the seat of a bishopric. It suffered much during Viking raids, once almost completely destroyed. It was rebuilt many times until WWII. Many historical buildings have been rebuilt and restored. Rouen has been a bone of contention between England...

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Out in Africa

Nov 6, 2012 - Vernon

We have been to the train station here to visit Giverny. Vernon was founded in the 7th century by the first Duke of Normandy, Rollo, a Viking. Vernon was important as a transit point between Paris and Rouen, and a river crossing place; it was well fortified and frequently besieged. A bridge was not built until the 12th century, the remains which are on the right bank and could be seen as we crossed the bridge to visit the mill and Castle Tourelles. The castle was a tower and small fortification built by Philippe Auguste in the early 13th...

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Out in Africa

Oct 29, 2012 - Monet Day

Up early on this damp and gray day to go to the train station. Somehow we made it there even though we didn't know where we were part of the time. Got the first train to Vernon and then the shuttle bus to Giverny. One of the first ones to Monet's house and then the gardens. There were more autumn flowers than I though we would see, but coming to an end. The lily pond was quite nice and am sure it is gorgeous in the summer, as are the rest of the gardens. But there are also a lot more people. The place is closed at the end of the month and...

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Out in Africa

Oct 22, 2012 - Monet Day

Up early to head for the train station to go to Vernon. Somehow we managed to get there even though we weren't sure where we were some of the time. Got the first train and then the shuttle bus to Giverny to Monet's house and gardens. It was damp and cloudy today so it was chilly walking the gardens. There were some flowers in bloom but it is getting ready to close at the end of the month. I am sure it is beautiful in the summer, but also crowded with people! Enjoyed walking around the lily pond, the inspiration for his painting. Most of the...

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Out in Africa

Sep 12, 2012 - The ride - AA Flight #42, Monet gardens in Giverny and Honfleur

The flight was great - all 8 hours of it. We ate, the food was terrific, we slept in a cozy bed, we watched a movie and the flight attendants were very pleasant, something you don't find in domestic flights. With Rick Steve's on one arm and Frank on the other, we hit the ground running. Our luggage was out in less than 20 minutes and we head to Avis to pick up the car. These logistics were easily executed. Driving out of Paris was much easier than I thought it would be and within 30 minutes we were on a highway (after taking a wrong turn...

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Aug 26, 2012 - Drive to Rouen

Today’s itinerary will take us from Chartres northwards towards Rouen, and then west to Caen where we will spend the night. All up the driving time should be about 3.5 hours. We were a bit tired from last night’s light show, so we’re taking our time this morning and leaving a bit later. The drive out of the Loire region (where Chartres is located) was due to take about 2hrs, and we had planned to get there around midday, so we could eat lunch, but we ended up leaving Chartres about 12.30. I walked around a little bit in the morning to take...

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Aug 9, 2012 - Giverny & Paris

Today's highlight was a stop in Giverny [Jvef vernay] to see the home and gardens of the artist Oscar Claude Monat. There were lots of tourists (of course) but we were able to shuffle our way through his comfortable 2-story home of 43 years (no photos allowed). He had a very large collection of Japanese prints which he hung on the wall of most of the rooms. All but 3 of his own paintings were copies, the rest being in museums. The kitchen was cheerful and inviting with white and blue tiles on all of the walls. We took lots of pictures of...

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Carol-IvanTravels

May 22, 2012 - Giverny Monet's Garden

This afternoon it was off to Monet's garden in Giverney. The garden is now in two parts: You now go through a tunnel under the road to get to the Water garden. I suppose if a road has to split a hostorical garden , theyve at least done it in such a way you think it might always have been like that! The garden is interesting not just becasue of the colour; and I'm sure you could go there in any seasoin and something would be flowering and it would look amazing. It is laid out like a formal garden, in rectangles. In the biggest of these...

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Europe 2012

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