Saturday, October 15, 2016

Wandering back in time - Rouen

Went to bed by 11 and up and still foggy at 9, that’s both me and the weather.  We ordered a raisin loaf and a fresh baguette to be delivered for breakfast.  We had also bought mini quiches yesterday at the bakery, so we were all ready to go. 

The smell of the bread and the coffee was enough to get even me out of bed.  After our mini breakfast we head for a walk around the grounds.  It is very peaceful and quite beautiful.  Memories of books and movies come rushing back at you, especially the Three Musketeers.


Can definitely picture Marie Antoinette and her ladies sitting around this table eating a chocolate eclair (which I just had from the local bakery) and being rowed around the island on the little rowboats they had.  
This is a restaurant right next door to our property.  They have a dock so you can go by boat if you like. 

Not being sure what the weather might hold in store for us, we pack up a bag with raincoats, sweaters, extra socks, etc and off we set for Rouen.  Rouen was invaded by the Vikings until finally the King of France said you can have Rouen if you leave the rest of France, particularly Paris alone.  Nothing Jim likes more than being able to quote Viking history to me.  Today I gave him some ammunition.
Is there anything more fun that sitting in a cafe, outside still, watching the people go by.  :)  especially with a glass of red wine to keep you toasty

oh man I could gain weight just on the smells coming out of the bakeries

The Gros Horloge , the clock was made in 1389, one of the oldest mechanisms in France.

A number of the buildings in Rouen were built with big Oak beams to support. them.  I can definitely picture D'Artagnan and his Musketeers have a rousing good time in a pub being supported by these beams.  

Thinking these might make a surprise Christmas present.......

Did I mention there were chocolate shops everywhere.  

Almost bought a new pair of high heels.  After all our walking today, I found the perfect pair, made of chocolate.  :)
Rouen has a wonderful mix of new and old.  Buildings that could be saved were saved and ones that had to be demolished were fixed up to add to the wonderful flavour of the old town.  Even the McDonald's has kept the original facade with the big oak beams.

The building with all the flags classified itself as an "Auberge"  "tres expensive" restaurant

This is all that remains of the castle where Joan of Arc was held captive and tortured before being found guilty of heresy.  

  The Joan of Arc Church was built on the site where she was burnt at the stake.  The design is amazing and reflects what a wonderful person she was while incorporating in the feel of the original square and meeting place of the city of Rouen from the 1400s.

The roof depicts the flames reaching up as she was burnt at the stake.  
The architect incorporated the market square into the church plan as this square was the hub of the town in the 1400s.

 The stained glass was saved from the original church on these grounds which was destroyed during WWII.
The town itself is made up of tiny alleys and squares filled with market stalls, carrying fresh vegetables, flowers, baked goods, local and imported cheeses and wine.  Not to mention fresh fish and some amazing meats.  

I looked over at one area and saw something wiggle it's antennae and thought oh shoot there's a cockroach, it was a live shrimpy thing  (shiver) 

As I move a little down the stall, I thought oh my goodness what is that smell, it reminds me of my childhood home and sure enough there were some kippers one of my dad's favourite Sunday breakfasts.  

The Musee des Beaux Arts has some spectacular works of art and it's FREE :)  There were some amazing renditions of Joan of Arc and I even found a few Monets.  

As you moved closer to this picture, the image moved up and down the steel cylinder.  Pretty cool.  
What would be an art museum without 100s of religious pictures.  These 2 were quite stunning.

Well if you actually made it to the bottom of my blog you are probably wondering where the pictures of the Notre Dame Church are.  I was getting a little worried that this blog might be too big (which it is), so I am working on a separate blog of the church.  Which is amazing.

Bonsoir, off to the coast tomorrow weather permitting.

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