Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Honfleur at the mouth of the River Seine, France

Have you been to Honfleur?  If you have, I hope the following photos will bring back some lovely memories.  If you have not, then perhaps these photos will entice you to go sometime in the future.

It is the sweetest little town with a population of around 10,000 people but has 3 million visitors each year and, I have read, is the third most visited town in France.  It was painted by many of the french impressionists such as Monet, Courbet, Boudin, Corot and Sisley who used to visit to paint its atmosphere and people in the 19th century.

Luckily it escaped the bombing of the second world war and retains many of its original lovely little buildings, some dating from around 300 years ago, made of post and beam (I think) construction.

There are many narrow streets, where you can peer into small court yards and other nooks and crannies, and are lovely to wander around.  In one of the court yards I saw had an old-fashioned style caravan parked in it, although it is a bit difficult to see under all that covering.

There is a lovely park by the river's edge you can walk through and a "promenade" along the side of the river.  When we were there we went for a "promenade sûr mer" (literally a walk on water) but actually a boat ride out through the lock onto the river and under the Pont de Normandie.  This is the boat.

The Pont de Normandie is very interesting bridge to look because it appears so fragile yet is so strong.  I took quite a few photos.  Here are a couple of them.

This one is from quite a distance so you can see its length and height and the lightness of appearance on the landscape.

This one shows its strength and durability.

The real heart of Honfleur is the "old marina" in the centre of town.  We were there in November so there were not huge numbers of boats but I believe in summer it is full as are the cafes and restaurants that line the sides of the marina.  I don't think I would like it so much at that time of the year as I am not enamoured of crowds.

There is also a beautiful wooden church, St Catherine's, with a belfry that is separate to the main church, in the central place of the town.  Unfortunately, the day I visited it was armistice day, ie 11 November, and there was a remembrance church service taking place. I thought it was not appropriate to take photos under these circumstances.

Finally, we had to eat "moules normandie" and I have to say they were the best mussels I have ever eaten - small but so tender and delicious but I didn't take any photos so you will just have to imagine how good they were.

Hope you enjoy the promenade through Honfleur.

1 comment:

Susan Elliott said...

It's a beautiful day for me when someone is moved to come out of hiding to make a comment. Thanks for taking the time to connect.

My sister is traveling to Normandy in September on a bike tour. I will forward your post about Honfleur to her. There is also a point de beauvais museum at Bourg-le-Roi. Have you been there? Here is a link:


All the best, Susan