Monday, 23 May 2011

Honfleur and On

Saturday we travelled along the coast to Honfleur. That trip in itself was interesting. We had to drive through Deauville where the G8 will be held this week. Security was very high with gendarmes on nearly every corner for miles, groups of CRS and huge convoys of army. One or two of the other cars were stopped but we made it through. Great reason for always having your passport to hand especially as the CRS were heavily armed!

Honfleur was busy as it was Saturday and market day. We all managed to find each other and started our mini tour. Up narrow streets,



and out to the harbour area. Some of these narrow buildings are seven stories high.



Then on through the Market area again which had some wonderful smells!



Finally on to the 15th century Church of Sainte Catherine, a totally wooden church that looks like two upturned boat hulls side by side. As it was made by shipwrights I suppose they did what they knew best.



Honfluer was largely untouched during the war and so still has fabulous old charm. The light is very clear too being on the Seine estuary and has attracted many famous artists over the years.

After lunch we drove down to Camembert an incredibly tiny village that carries the name of probably the most famous French cheese. Like our cheddar it has just become a type of cheese due to how it is made rather than who makes it so there are many makers of Camembert all over the word.




True Camembert was given AOC status in 1983 so if you want the real thing it must have the AOC stamp, have been made from raw, unpasturised milk using cows kept in Normandy and ladled into the moulds by hand.

Yesterday we visited Falaise and the Chateau Guillaume Le Conquerant (William the Conquerer to you and me).



I personally found some of the restoration uncomfortable. UNESCO states that unless you have undisputed evidence of what was there before, any restoration has to have a significant demarkation between what was original and what is new. The architect chosen for some of the work at the chateau liked steel and concrete. Apparently there was almost a local revolution at what he had been allowed to do to their castle. Now the more recent restoration is far more subtle and pleasing.

We parked in the town square opposite this church.



It was incredibly ornate and when the bells rang, they were even more over the top but quite charming! I don't know if they have the full set of bells ringing every day or just on the Sunday for service. I don't think I would want to live too near if they were on all the time!

We had a good drive up to Bayuex afterwards. Another lunch in a small creperie and on through to the tapestry. Of course no photos etc but it's well documented. I do recommend a real live viewing if you ever have the chance though. I saw it many years ago in a previous setting but it has now been housed in a special room and case. It is in wonderful condition for something made of linen and wool and nearly a thousand years old!

Last day today and Giverny. Photos later.


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1 comment:

  1. Lovely post. I loved Honfleur too. http://caroleschatter.blogspot.co.nz/2012/01/honfleur.html

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