Published: August 30th 2011August 30th 2011
Tuesday 12th July 2011
Up early and away as our parking expires at 0800. Our route takes us North East along familiar roads that we have used many times before. In the course of our journey we cross the mighty Loire at Tours further on we decide to break our journey overnight at Cloves-sur-Loir south of Chateaudun.
Here the campsite fee includes use of the municipal pool and activity park including boats on the river, trampolines and crazy golf all of which we make use of over the course of a pleasant afternoon.
Wednesday 13th July 2011
Back on the road North we circumnavigate the city of Chartres with its mighty Cathedral clearly visible across the flat landscape. From here we travel via Dreux, where we encounter a rare traffic jam due to bridge works, and Evreux to the outskirts of Rouen and the home of our friends JF and Veronique. As before we are made very welcome and over dinner catch up on news since our last meeting. Later and following tradition JF and I put the world to rights over a few glasses of malt whisky.....
Thursday 14th July 2011
Bastille Day -
La Fête Nationale - Le Quatorze Juillet.
Bastille day a public holiday commemorates the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison during the French Revolution. Festivities and official ceremonies are held all over France.
In the afternoon we visit the city of Rouen the historic capital city of Normandy built on the banks River Seine. Once one of the largest and most prosperous cities of medieval Europe Rouen was one of the capitals of the Anglo-Norman dynasties, which ruled both England and large parts of modern France from the 11th to the 15th centuries.
During the Hundred Years' War ( 1419 ) Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England and became the capital city of English power in France. In 1430 the duke of Bedford, John Plantagenet bought Joan of Arc from the duke of Burgundy ( his ally ) and after a long trial by a church court she was sentenced to be burned at the stake. A sentence duly carried out in the market square on the 30th May 1431.
Rouen is also known for its Notre Dame cathedral, with its Tour de Beurre (butter tower). The cathedral was the subject of a
series of paintings by the impressionist Claude Monet who's studio we intend to visit next. We find the spot where he sat and painted this magnificent building.
No visit to Rouen is complete without seeing the The Gros Horloge an astronomical clock dating back to the 16th century ( though the movement is considerably older - 1389 ) located suprisingly in Gros Horloge street. We ( except Max ) ascend the stairs to the bell tower and upper deck which allows a view over the rooftops of the city and the cathedral of Notre Dame.
Our thanks to JF and Veronique for their hospitality - we hope it won't be long before we meet again !
There are more photos below