Honfleur, France

Our second trip to France (the last one in 2001) and this time to the Normandy region with four days in Paris at the end. I’ll break the photos into four posts, each one titled with our base of operations for that portion of the trip: Honfleur, Bayeux, Cancale, and Paris. The map shows the location of each with the exception of Cancale, which is between Mont Saint Michel and Saint Malo.

France Map

October 11: We take off from SeaTac on a direct Delta flight to Paris. Arrive just in time for sunrise over the city.

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After renting a car at Charles de Gaulle and spending some time trying to get the GPS to speak English, we head northwest to Honfleur, at the junction of the Seine and the English Channel. Honfleur has been used as a port for at least 1,000 years and was the departure point for Samuel de Champlain in 1608 when he discovered the St Lawrence River and founded Quebec City.

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La Petite Folie, a B&B in a building from the 1830’s, was our home for three nights.

La Petite Folie on Rue Haute

La Petite Folie on Rue Haute

Spiral stairs up three floors

Spiral stairs up three floors

A great place to begin the day

A great place to begin the day

The salon

The salon

Out exploring, we drove over to Deauville, a prestigious seaside resort, home to an annual American film festival, horse races, a large casino, and a lot of very expensive summer homes. Evidently the famous people cleared out before we arrived in mid-October.

The boardwalk and the beach virtually all to ourselves

The boardwalk and the beach virtually all to ourselves

Promenade des Planches, where beach closet are dedicated to famous actors and moviemakers that have come to Deauville

Promenade des Planches, where beach closets are dedicated to famous actors and moviemakers that have come to Deauville

All that promenading sure works up an appetite. Luckily, Le Ciro’s was right on the boardwalk and had a table available.

A table with a view, please

A table with a view, please

And since one reason to go to France is for the food, and this area is known for its seafood, what better place to start?

Lorette thinks we have come to the right place

Lorette thinks we have come to the right place

Zombie shrimp helping me to finish my Bouillabaisse

Zombie shrimp helping me finish my Bouillabaisse

After a meal like that, we couldn’t imagine doing a repeat for dinner so we stopped by the local equivalent of Costco and stocked up on supplies for a ‘light’ dinner in the salon back at the B&B.20141013-IMG_3981 20141013-IMG_3984

Honfleur is an ideal place to walk off some of those calories. Here are some photos from a stroll around town….

The channel leading to the port

The channel leading to the port

The old port (Vieux Bassin)

The old port (Vieux Bassin)

La Lieutenance, the one surviving gatehouse from the Hundreds' Years (14th century)

La Lieutenance, the one surviving gatehouses from the Hundreds’ Years War (14th century) to protect the harbor

St Catherine's Church, built of wood by boat-builders in 1466

St Catherine’s Church, built of wood by boat-builders in 1466

Honfleur was spared significant bombing during WW II so there are many examples of half-timber buildings

Honfleur was spared significant bombing during WW II so there are many examples of half-timber buildings

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Despite the name, we never ate here

Despite the name, we never ate here

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After walking around town on cobblestones, it was nice to discover the promenade along the Seine leading to the English Channel and Honfleur’s beach.

Looking back toward town

Looking back toward town

In the distance: the Normandy Bridge, one of the world's largest cable-stayed bridges, built to withstand winds up to 160 MPH

In the distance: the Normandy Bridge, one of the world’s largest cable-stayed bridges, built to withstand winds up to 160 MPH

A ship leaving port

A ship leaving port

At the end of the promenade: the beach

At the end of the promenade: the beach

France is a very dog-friendly place…

Hygienic canines welcome

Hygienic canines welcome

… but evidently it is not appreciated when dogs poop by your front door.

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OK, last night in Honfleur and we walked to what turned out to be one of my favorite restaurants, Le Bréard.

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I can’t remember the names of all these dishes but this meal will give you an idea of why I enjoy French food so much.

Amuse-bouche

Amuse-bouche

I think this was another amuse-bouche!

I think this was another amuse-bouche!

This soup was the entrée, or what in France is called an appetizer or starter

This soup was the entrée, or what in France is called an appetizer or starter

Pork for the main course or le plat principal

Pork for the main course or le plat principal

Some Normandy cheeses along with a Calvados

Some Normandy cheeses along with a Calvados

And a soufflé for dessert

And a soufflé for dessert

After that wonderful meal, it’s back to La Petite Folie for a good night’s sleep before driving to our next stop.

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