Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Our drive to Honfleur was uneventful along the Normandy coast. We stopped a few times; in fact we needed an injection of caffeine early on, still raining though. As we ventured further on, the sun decided to pay us a visit. Maybe it was that we were close to what seemed like an up market tourist resort on the coast. The twin towns of Deauville and Trouville could have been any seaside location throughout the world, well even in Australia.
I’ve seen similar architecture in Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and the Gold Coast. The usual multi-story hotel and apartment complexes. OK, let’s move on, we didn’t come to France to see what we see at home.

We were greeted by the Honfleur harbour as we negotiated the cobbled stoned laneways to our home for the next three nights.
But Honfleur, Oh what a magical place as we drove into the old part of town. It was like entering another century. Searching for our B and B wasn’t too difficult with our GPS Tommy, but entering the narrow, cobbled laneways took some negotiating, and the feeling that we were going to love our three night stay was very strong.

These doors were the entrance to our accommodation - very quaint!

And this was the stairway to our little Hobbit house.
Oh, yes an opportunity to rest Sue thought but I assembled my bike to explore the roads of Honfleur. My most vivid memory was of descending into a nearby village with a typical older French gentleman sitting on a bench in a beret and a walking cane. As I rode by he yelled "Allez, Allez". Memories like those you take home with you to tell your cycling mates forever.

Looking out of our Hobbit house, we observed the other little homes in this enclave of little places of serenity.
We’d booked our time at Honfleur in a B and B called La Cour Saint Catherine. It seemed to be a little village within a village. You entered these large wooden gated to a hidden sanctuary. Our rooms gave us the impression of a Hobbit’s home. A small stairway rose to a doorway that even we of challenged stature needed to duck before entering. It looked so comfy that before I could bring our bags in, Sue was snoring on the bed.

Architecture in Normandy is so different from Provence, Languedoc, Dordogne and the Loire. We'd travelled so far, seen so many things. Each new region had unique characteristics. Normandy had its own personality

Churches and Cathedrals don't look like this in our earlier travels - this one was unique.
I don't think you could ever become bored with walking the streets and laneways of Honfleur. Each corner offers a new experience.
Honfleur sits on an estuary of the Seine and is one of France's early defensive and fishing harbours of the 15th century. Buildings surrounding the old harbour rise six and seven stories high, yet when walking along the street directly behind these buildings, they seem to be maybe two or three stories high due to the incline of the terrain.

These buildings rise five to six levels yet on the other side they are only two or three levels due to the incline of the land.

This cafe ran jazz and blues nights - we ate twice at a resturaunt directly opposite and had the same courses because they were so great. Lamb Shanks yummy, it was just like home in winter.
It is said that one should stop to small the roses occasionally - Well Sue decided that Honfluer had the best smelling weeds and a very nice Faux Florist shop.

My very favourite heroine, Jean d'Arc said hello.

The half wooden houses in Normandy make great photographic material.
To say we fell in love with Honfleur is an understatement and after visiting you can understand why it became a venue for some of France’s most celebrated impressionists.
Pissaro, Renoir and Cezanne are among the many that brought their easels to Honfleur.
Even in modern times this charming harbour village still draws artists as we experienced during our walks.

Honfleur claims as their sons, landscape painter Eugene Boudin and composer Erik Sate.

Having just arrived in Honfleur in the mid afternoon and Sue having a little nap, we didn’t get to explore our surroundings till late afternoon and our main objective was to find an interesting restaurant for dinner.

Who doesn't love a rooftop garden. These thatch roof houses had the most beautiful gardens both on and above the ground. 

I just love a creative Deux Chevaux, Don't you?

We had a lovely little snack at Beaumont en Auge and met a very talkative lady who had told us that she had left her husband and was enjoying life in Beaumont riding horses and running a cafe. Why would she tell us this stuff, but we were happy to listen and add her conversation to our travel memories.

Over our days in Honfleur we took a few drives into the country side and also across to Le Havre. The city being a major French port, was bombed badly during the war and now is quite a modern city. We walked the beachside and enjoyed lunch at a side street cafe but it didn't hold the interest that Honfleur offered. Our time was drawing to a close in France. We had travelled from Paris to Provence, Languedoc, the Midi Pyrenees, The Tarn, and the Dordogne before moving on to the Loire and Normandy. It was time to return to Paris for a week in an apartment in the 6th. Another week would see us back home in Melbourne.


  1. A wonderful selection of pics from this beautiful corner of La Belle France - your hobbit house looks just gorgeous and I can see why you both enjoyed your stay -so much to see.

  2. Dianne - have you been there, we loved it but next week we are back in Paris for a whole week before returning home to complete our 2008 trip - yet to come is the 2009 and 2010 trips.
    But the real planning is for next May. More to come.
    When is your next trip?

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


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