Day Two - The Long Rain of Henry IV

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Europe » France » Upper Normandy » Dieppe
December 22nd 2012
Published: January 17th 2013
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Rouen to Saint Valery-en-Caux vis Saint-Saenz and Dieppe

1. Rouen-Arts Et Seine Hotel 0 ft 0:00:00 N49 26.332 E1 05.519 2. Get on Rue Saint-Étienne-Des-Tonneliers and drive east 2 ft 2 ft 0:00:00 0:00:00 203° true N49 26.331 E1 05.519 3. Turn right onto Rue Grand Pont 80 ft 78 ft 0:00:04 0:00:04 112° true N49 26.327 E1 05.537 4. Turn left onto Quai Pierre Corneille 356 ft 276 ft 0:00:19 0:00:23 198° true N49 26.285 E1 05.509 5. Keep right onto Quai Pierre Corneille 0.2 mi 0.1 mi 0:00:39 0:01:02 108° true N49 26.244 E1 05.697 6. Turn left towards Boulogne/Reims/Darnétal/Gare S.N.C.F./La Corniche 0.7 mi 0.5 mi 0:01:16 0:02:18 115° true N49 26.087 E1 06.343 7. Keep left onto Rocade Nord-Est ramp 0.8 mi 334 ft 0:00:10 0:02:28 33° true N49 26.123 E1 06.402 8. Continue on N28/Bihorel towards Beauvais-Calais/Amiens-Reims/Darnétal 1.0 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:25 0:02:53 52° true N49 26.252 E1 06.660 9. Continue on D6028/E402 towards Calais/Amiens-Reims/Bihorel 1.5 mi 0.5 mi 0:00:45 0:03:38 98° true N49 26.311 E1 07.270 10. Continue on D6028/E402 towards Calais/Amiens-Reims/Bihorel 1.9 mi 0.3 mi 0:00:27 0:04:05 76° true N49 26.278 E1 07.718 11. Continue on E402/A28 towards Calais/Amiens-Reims/Neufchâtel En Bray 6.0 mi 4.1 mi 0:05:16 0:09:21 57° true N49 29.357 E1 08.629 12. Continue on A28/E402 towards Le Pucheuil/Neufchâtel En Bray/Amiens/Abbeville/Reims/Calais 14.4 mi 8.4 mi 0:07:30 0:16:51 26° true N49 34.183 E1 16.460 13. Take exit 11 to the right towards St Saëns 19.8 mi 5.4 mi 0:04:47 0:21:38 341° true N49 38.684 E1 15.950 14. Enter roundabout Roundabout 20.0 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:17 0:21:55 10° true N49 38.820 E1 15.988 15. Turn right onto D12 towards St Saëns/St Martin-Osmonville 20.0 mi 167 ft 0:00:12 0:22:07 72° true N49 38.828 E1 16.025 16. Turn left onto Route Du Havre À Valenciennes 20.6 mi 0.6 mi 0:00:53 0:23:00 25° true N49 39.309 E1 16.346 17. Turn right onto D12 20.6 mi 20 ft 0:01:12 0:24:12 270° true N49 39.309 E1 16.341 18. Turn right onto Avenue Emmanuel Brion 21.9 mi 1.3 mi 0:02:54 0:27:06 341° true N49 40.205 E1 16.944 19. Turn left onto Rue Simone Valles 22.1 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:45 0:27:51 66° true N49 40.249 E1 17.134 20. Saint-Saëns 22.3 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:40 0:28:31 215° true N49 40.368 E1 16.990 21. Get on Place Maintenon and drive northwest 22.3 mi 5 ft 0:00:00 0:28:31 35° true N49 40.368 E1 16.991 22. Turn right onto Route de Dieppe 25.9 mi 3.6 mi 0:06:49 0:35:20 324° true N49 42.428 E1 13.571 23. Enter roundabout Roundabout 30.3 mi 4.3 mi 0:07:33 0:42:53 333° true N49 45.530 E1 10.944 24. Take the 2nd right onto Route de Dieppe 30.3 mi 51 ft 0:00:05 0:42:58 0° true N49 45.536 E1 10.944 25. Enter roundabout Roundabout 33.9 mi 3.6 mi 0:06:17 0:49:15 352° true N49 48.497 E1 10.427 26. Take the 3rd right onto Route de Paris 34.0 mi 199 ft 0:00:08 0:49:23 213° true N49 48.504 E1 10.411 27. Turn right onto Rue de la Varenne 36.6 mi 2.6 mi 0:03:49 0:53:12 329° true N49 50.008 E1 08.408 28. Le Bois-Robert 37.1 mi 0.5 mi 0:01:32 0:54:44 191° true N49 50.129 E1 08.964 29. Get on Rue de la Varenne and drive west 37.1 mi 8 ft 0:00:00 0:54:44 11° true N49 50.130 E1 08.964 30. Turn right onto Route de Paris 37.5 mi 0.5 mi 0:01:26 0:56:10 243° true N49 50.008 E1 08.408 31. Enter roundabout Roundabout 40.8 mi 3.3 mi 0:04:51 1:01:01 355° true N49 52.380 E1 06.013 32. Turn right onto D915 towards Dieppe/Car Ferry/Dieppe-St Aubin 40.8 mi 188 ft 0:00:09 1:01:10 308° true N49 52.405 E1 06.006 33. Enter roundabout Roundabout 42.6 mi 1.8 mi 0:02:31 1:03:41 330° true N49 53.706 E1 04.674 34. Take the 1st right onto Avenue Des Canadiens 42.7 mi 116 ft 0:00:06 1:03:47 345° true N49 53.724 E1 04.667 35. Enter roundabout Rond-Point Des Canadiens 43.7 mi 1.1 mi 0:02:09 1:05:56 352° true N49 54.646 E1 04.546 36. Take the 3rd right onto Avenue Des Canadiens 43.8 mi 329 ft 0:00:12 1:06:08 283° true N49 54.684 E1 04.533 37. Turn right onto Rue Claude Groulard 44.6 mi 0.8 mi 0:02:07 1:08:15 4° true N49 55.400 E1 04.388 38. Turn left onto Boulevard Georges Clemenceau 44.9 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:40 1:08:55 150° true N49 55.318 E1 04.618 39. Turn left onto Boulevard Bérigny 45.1 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:38 1:09:33 90° true N49 55.320 E1 04.885 40. Enter roundabout Roundabout 45.4 mi 0.3 mi 0:01:11 1:10:44 342° true N49 55.580 E1 04.795 41. Take the 2nd right onto Arcades de la Bourse 45.4 mi 112 ft 0:00:07 1:10:51 319° true N49 55.591 E1 04.790 42. Enter roundabout Roundabout 45.5 mi 295 ft 0:00:16 1:11:07 336° true N49 55.634 E1 04.759 43. Take the 3rd right onto Arcades de la Bourse 45.5 mi 135 ft 0:00:10 1:11:17 270° true N49 55.634 E1 04.759 44. Dieppe 45.5 mi 37 ft 0:00:02 1:11:19 245° true N49 55.629 E1 04.762 45. Get on Arcades de la Bourse and drive southeast 45.5 mi 5 ft 0:00:00 1:11:19 65° true N49 55.630 E1 04.763 46. Enter roundabout Roundabout 45.5 mi 262 ft 0:00:14 1:11:33 156° true N49 55.591 E1 04.790 47. Take the 1st right onto Rue Saint-Jean 45.5 mi 33 ft 0:00:03 1:11:36 198° true N49 55.585 E1 04.788 48. Turn left onto Rue Victor Hugo 45.8 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:37 1:12:13 246° true N49 55.485 E1 04.509 49. Turn right onto Rue Claude Groulard 45.9 mi 482 ft 0:00:13 1:12:26 169° true N49 55.408 E1 04.533 50. Turn left onto Place Des Martyrs 46.0 mi 0.1 mi 0:00:28 1:12:54 265° true N49 55.400 E1 04.388 51. Turn right onto Avenue Jean Jaurès 46.6 mi 0.6 mi 0:01:36 1:14:30 172° true N49 54.901 E1 04.486 52. Turn right onto Route de Petit Appeville 47.2 mi 0.7 mi 0:01:44 1:16:14 226° true N49 54.494 E1 03.832 53. Enter roundabout Roundabout 49.6 mi 2.4 mi 0:04:10 1:20:24 255° true N49 53.461 E1 01.909 54. Take the 2nd right onto Route D'Ouville 49.7 mi 188 ft 0:00:12 1:20:36 254° true N49 53.456 E1 01.880 55. Enter roundabout Roundabout 53.3 mi 3.6 mi 0:05:07 1:25:43 281° true N49 52.426 E0 57.601 56. Take the 1st right onto Route de Dieppe 53.3 mi 86 ft 0:00:05 1:25:48 284° true N49 52.429 E0 57.586 57. Enter roundabout Roundabout 53.5 mi 0.2 mi 0:00:39 1:26:27 269° true N49 52.423 E0 57.277 58. Take the 2nd right onto Rue Olivier de Longueil 53.6 mi 90 ft 0:00:06 1:26:33 258° true N49 52.421 E0 57.259 59. Enter roundabout Roundabout 63.9 mi 10.4 mi 0:15:14 1:41:47 255° true N49 51.787 E0 44.142 60. Take the 2nd right onto D925 B 63.9 mi 96 ft 0:00:07 1:41:54 270° true N49 51.787 E0 44.119 61. Enter roundabout Roundabout 65.3 mi 1.3 mi 0:03:01 1:44:55 288° true N49 52.084 E0 42.728 62. Take the 3rd right onto Rue Du Havre 65.3 mi 118 ft 0:00:06 1:45:01 243° true N49 52.091 E0 42.718 63. Turn left onto Rue Du Havre 65.3 mi 349 ft 0:00:12 1:45:13 297° true N49 52.120 E0 42.643 64. Turn right onto Rue Du Havre 65.5 mi 0.1 mi 0:00:33 1:45:46 199° true N49 52.006 E0 42.581 65. Saint-Valery-en-Caux: Henri Iv 65.6 mi 338 ft 0:00:16 1:46:02 100° true N49 51.955 E0 42.553

Our Home Away from HomeOur Home Away from HomeOur Home Away from Home

Since we decided not to overpay for breakfast, once we were on the road and as soon as I spotted an open store, I made a pit stop. This would be our first of our almost daily shopping trips to Carrefour. Kind of like a French Walmart in some locations and like a Quickee Mart in others. No matter what size, they always had fresh bread, fruit and pre-fab sandwiches. On this particular day Cassie and I went with the chicken salad sandwich and Coke Zero. French Coke Zero tastes much sweeter than ours. (Photo borowed from Google Earth because I was not concious enough to take my own picture of the place).
As much as I ended-up loving France, I mean Normandy, on this trip, there is one aspect of travel where the French fail miserably against their Germand and English competitors: breakfast. The French breakfasts were very good when we chose to have them but whereas the Brits and Krauts offer breakfast as part of the hotel or B&B price, the French choose to tack on the cost as an extra. 8 Euro per person for breakfast quickly adds up to $40 just for breakfast for our group of four. I guess you actually get your money's worth because the few times we did buy the breakfasts we were served big baguettes, croissants, jams, fresh Normandy butter, cheese, meats, cereal, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, fruit and yoghurt at our table, but for me breakfast is the least important meal of the day. I'd rather save that money for a nice lunch.

Our first morning in France we decided to forego the offered 7.50€ breakfast and start our long drive North toward Dieppe. Instead of taking the highway which would've gotten us there in an hour and a half, I had plotted a route through the more scenic hills and forests. Once
Oops!  I Don't Need this U/V Filter NowOops!  I Don't Need this U/V Filter NowOops! I Don't Need this U/V Filter Now

After gulping down our on-the-go breakfasts (breakfast for 4 of us cost less than one hotel breakfast), we continued on taking the scenic route between Rouen and Dieppe. Saint Saens was to be the first of countless quaint, "charming" villages we'd drive through on this trip. Stupidly, I forgot that I had installed a filter on my camera lens to cut down on the sun's glare.
we checked-out of the hotel and hauled our suitcases back to the underground parking lot we found a completely empty lot except for our Renault. The day before we had to wait for people to leave the lot to find a space.

Back on the road we headed right into a rainstorm. Nothing too intense and thankfully with temperatures well above freezing. It just made for a lousy day to take pictures. It wasn't long before the rest of the car was back asleep. I headed Northeast toward the town of Saint-Saenz. The Michelin green guide had noted that this was an interesting small town noted for its stone and brick buildings.

Additional photos below
Photos: 51, Displayed: 23


Like a PostcardLike a Postcard
Like a Postcard

While Rouen was a pleasant little mid-sized city, Saint Saens was our first experience in a typical Normandy village. It seemed so totally different than any other place we had been in in France. In my haste to try to squeeze in as much as possible on this day I sped through this historically interesting little town. It seems the Norman Kings of England fought often in this area and burned down the town more than once.
Country Church in Le Bois RobertCountry Church in Le Bois Robert
Country Church in Le Bois Robert

Already my Garmin Nuvi was down to less than half a charge. It was getting very tough to follow my pre-planned driving route. We relied on the car's Tom Tom GPS most of the time instead, but it refused to take us on the scenic route we wanted. For some reason I had marked Le Bois Robert as a place we needed to see, but other than this little church there wasn't much to entertain us.
Scenic OverlookScenic Overlook
Scenic Overlook

We were about to leave town when we noticed a sign indicating "Panorama". I assumed that might be worth a brief detour. It wasn't too brief a detour and we ended up a couple of miles off course. However, the view over the flooding Varenne River was worth it. This was only the first day of contant rain; as our trip continued we saw more and more severe flooding.
Certainly Not the Jersey ShoreCertainly Not the Jersey Shore
Certainly Not the Jersey Shore

Before we really had the chance to enjoy the scenic route I supposedly put together, we were in Dieppe. My original reason for going here was to learn more about the Dieppe Raid of 1942. Canadian commandos were basically sacrificed in a ill-conceived raid on the German stronghold at Dieppe. Of the 6000 troops involved, more than 3600 were killed, captured or wounded. The intent was to test German defenses, steal intelligence, and to determine whether it would be possible to attack and hold a German port city for very long. The Allies also wanted to prove to the Russians that they were doing their part at a time when most of the fighting seemed concentrated in Eastern Europe. It was a miserable failure. So much so that there really is nothing of note left from that time. The town was never seized, important Allied documents were captured by the Germans instead and German treatment of POWs became more harsh as a result. Perhaps the one positive was that based on the ineptitude of the assault, they were far too confident in their own defenses along the Normandy coast.
I Bet It's Hoppin' in the SummerI Bet It's Hoppin' in the Summer
I Bet It's Hoppin' in the Summer

This is the main drag of Dieppe along the shoreline. Plenty of parking but virtually no one was around on this day. We thought about parking closer to the shopping district but the traffic pattern was so odd that we never could find the actual downtown.
The White Cliffs of DieppeThe White Cliffs of Dieppe
The White Cliffs of Dieppe

The same chalk cliffs that hover over Dover, England are present in this region of France. I would assume that this hill overlooking the port entrance and the town of Dieppe had to be heavily fortified during World War II. Since one of the goals of the raid was too destroy German radar, I would think that there would've been a station right where today's modern radar stands.
Pebble BeachPebble Beach
Pebble Beach

This is nothing like our beaches here in the US. Like Dover, England, Dieppe Beach is nothing but thick layers of round pebbles. Slippery and very difficult to walk through.
Another Strategic Vantage PointAnother Strategic Vantage Point
Another Strategic Vantage Point

The opposite end of the beach in Dieppe also has a high bluff overlooking the beachfront. Somewhere along these cliffs the Germans had built artillery batteries capable of shelling any British approach from the sea. They were also objectives of the failed raid.
Old Town GatehouseOld Town Gatehouse
Old Town Gatehouse

Also known as "les Tourelles" this is the only surviving section of the medieval town wall. During the French Revolution it was a prison. Now it's a private home.
Château de DieppeChâteau de Dieppe
Château de Dieppe

This castle strategically place above the town dates from the 15th Century. It is now the city museum filled with items from Dieppe's maritime history.
Varangeville ChurchVarangeville Church
Varangeville Church

Leaving Dieppe my non-functioning Garmin was supposed to take us along the coastline through towns recommended in my green Michelin guide for Normandy. Instead we set the car's Tom Tom unit to take us toward Saint Valery-en-Caux where our hotel for the next two nights was located. We ignored most of the instructions given by the GPS and followed the coastline West. Somewhere along the way we stopped seeing water to our right so we pointed the car North and somehow ended-up on a narrow road leading to this church.
We Never Found ItWe Never Found It
We Never Found It

We might have decided to just turn around and go back but I saw this green sign which piqued my interest. Gail and I got out of the car in the pouring rain intent on finding WWII graves. We looked all around the church traversing the well-kept cemetery numerous times, but could not find what we thought would be a section of British or Canadian graves. I later read that there was just one British soldier interned here: Lance Corporal Matthew Millar of the Seaforth Highlanders. Aged 21. This corner of Normandy was not part of the D-Day invasion, but saw much action in 1940 as the Germans were expelling the British and French armies off the Continent.
The Raindrops Keep Falling on Our HeadsThe Raindrops Keep Falling on Our Heads
The Raindrops Keep Falling on Our Heads

As we got wetter and wetter then noticed that absolutely no one else seemed to be in the area we decided to try to get out of the wet by going inside the church. It took us a few tries to find an open door.
They Still RememberThey Still Remember
They Still Remember

What made this little church graveyard so unique was the beautiful contrast between the beach gravel ground and the ultra-shiny tombstones. I never saw a graveyard with so little erosion on the gravemarkers. A male member of this family was apparently a soldier.
Quite a ViewQuite a View
Quite a View

Too bad the weather was so dismal. My photo fails to capture how high above the Channel we actually were and what a commanding view of the beach there was. Somewhere out there on one of the bluffs was the big Germany artillery battery at Pourville-sur-Mer. Acoording to the History Channel: "The forces in the western sector attacked with some degree of surprise. In contrast to the misfortune encountered by the No. 3 Commandos on the east flank, the No. 4 Commando operation was completely successful. The units landed as planned and successfully destroyed the guns in the battery near Varengeville, and then withdrew safely. At Pourville the Canadians surprised the enemy. Initial opposition was light, as the South Saskatchewan Regiment and Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada assaulted the beaches. Resistance intensified as the Saskatchewans, supported by Camerons, crossed the River Scie. After heavy fighting, they were stopped well short of the town of Dieppe. The main force of the Camerons, meanwhile, pushed on towards their objective, an inland airfield, and advanced three kilometres before they were forced to halt as well. Both regiments then attempted to withdraw."
Inside St. Valery'sInside St. Valery's
Inside St. Valery's

The flash from my camera makes the interior of the church appear much brighter than it actually was. In fact, we could barely find our way around inside because of the darkness. Then I found a lightswitch on one of the religious paintings.

30th September 2014

"But for me breakfast is the least important meal of the day..."
I just started Following you, and have read big chunks of your blogs and then just the lead paragraphs of others. I would estimate that 99% of your blogs start with the detailed description of what was served for breakfast. Any breakfast without eggs is inferior. Just saying that perhaps you are fanatical about breakfast! Anyway, I'm enjoying your travels and look forward to reading more...the last blog was awhile ago.
30th September 2014

Coincidently my favorite European breakfasts are served in Germany and the UK. Both include eggs whereas you don't see any style eggs in French, Spanish, or Italian breakfasts. I give a slight nod to the Brits over the Germans just because they know how to serve thick, chewy bacon.

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