Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Winding Down.

I really can't believe our month in France finishes tomorrow. We have returned the keys to our lovely house in Normandy, the kids have come and gone. We had a wonderful time with them, showing them some of our favourite places and discovering new places with them. We took several overnight or two or three trips to see some of the sights of France.
We visited Mont St. Michel, 

...and Bayou, the home of the famous Bayou Tapestry.
It is not an actual tapestry— but an embroidery on linen, nearly 70 metres (230 ft) long, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman conquest of Englandconcerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings.

We also spent a bit of time in Honfleur. It is especially known for its old, beautiful picturesque port, characterized by its houses with slate-covered frontages, painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave CourbetEugène BoudinClaude Monet and Johan Jongkind, forming the école de Honfleur (Honfleur school) which contributed to the appearance of the Impressionist movement. The first written mention of Honfleur is a reference by Richard III, duke of Normandy, in 1027.

All of these places are Unesco World Heritage Sites. 

We also made many day trips, to Rouen (where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake), to Dieppe, to Etratat...also a very picturesque coastal town across from England. 

We spent 3 days in Paris with the kids and did city tours, visited the Louvre, rubbed shoulders with thousands of other curious tourists to see the Mona Lisa and The Lacemaker by Vermeer. I was a little disappointed to see her "under glass" but I understand the reasons.

We did the Eiffel Tower by day

...and by night!

We even sealed the deal on the Bridge of Locks over the Seine.

Everyone knows Paris as ‘the romance capital’ and the ‘city for lovers’. Some years ago, a new fad started when love-struck sweethearts began locking padlocks onto the chain link fence of the Pont des Arts, which crosses from the left bank to the Louvre museum. The love padlocks, called cadenas d’amour, multiplied until there were thousands of love tokens on the bridge, each engraved with a message of love. After locking the love padlock onto the fence, lovers toss the keys into the Seine river – a sign of their eternal devotion.

It's a done deal! The keys are at the bottom of the Seine!

After spending the next day at Versailles we headed "home" a weary bunch of travellers. The next morning we did laundry and headed out on the road again, this time to Brugge, Belgium!
A beautiful little city and so much history and charm, I have to say, if you ever get the chance to see it, take it!
We walked miles around the city , along the canals, shopping at all the tourist traps, haunting some wonderful chocolate shops, snacking on Belgian waffles, visiting cathedrals, one of which claims to have a vial of Christ's blood, one that says they are the tallest brick church in all of Europe, snapping pictures of the local swans, charming architecture and countless other things.

I bought a cross stitch kit of this charming row of colourful step gabled houses. At the same shop my son and his wife bought me a beautiful gift and souvenir. 

I got to pick out a pair of these very pretty scissors in a silver holder and chain. I should be able to keep track of these ones!
(The vial of blood)

We saw the city on foot, we toured it by boat on the canals...

And then if that wasn't enough we did a city tour on bicycles!

What do you think? Do I look like a local?

After several busy days we headed back to Normandy to the house. We spent our last day relaxing, catching up on laundry, packing, and picking cherries, while the girls splashed around in the pool. 

I really hated to leave the next day. The place sort of got hold of me...
Bright and early Sunday morning we packed up and headed back to Paris to drop the family off at the airport to head home and we were to spend our last three days of vacation in a different area of Paris.

Thats it for today. Tomorrow while spending countless hours in the airport and on the plane I will fill you in on our three days in Paris.

Bonsoir mes amis


Sue W. said...

Great update....see you at the airport tomorrow night. I'll bring Ruby along for the ride.

JoAnne said...

Nice pictures! I hope you have a safe and easy trip home.

gail.elizabeth said...

Wonderful Blessings...
Safe trip home...

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