Thursday 16th July. Honfleur 49.41902 0.24089
We are parked up this evening at the Normandy sea harbour at Honfleur at the mouth of the Seine with Le Havre on the other side of the estuary. It's a beautiful town with lots of narrow streets and timbered buildings. The Aire we are on is massive and although it says there is space for 100 motorhomes I reckon they would accommodate nearly double that number. It's not the prettiest of parking places but all credit to the town for providing so much parking space exclusively for the likes of us. We arrived at midday and found ourselves a nice little pitch with electric hook up and then set off to explore the town. Obviously it's full of tourists (like us) but that makes for a nice, busy atmosphere. We stopped for lunch at a quayside restaurant and had a delicious meal and then set off to visit the church of Saint Catherine. The church is unusual in that it is constructed entirely of wood and has two naves. Constructed in the late C15th the roof resembles two upturned boat hulls which is not surprising as it was constructed by ship builders using their techniques and timber from the nearby forests. A unique church that is well worth a visit.
The twin naves of St Catherine's church.
It's been scorching hot again today so we retired back to the van (which was like an oven) for the remainder of the afternoon before setting off this evening to explore more of the town. We stopped for refreshment in a little bar away from the tourist route and noticed that the display at the Pharmacy next door was showing 33deg. At 7.30pm!! In addition to hundreds of restaurants and shops selling cider (yes, I bought a couple of bottles) there are loads of art galleries and studios. Those with air conditioning drew us in and we gazed intently at the art on display whilst studiously stroking our chins before thanking the proprietors and moving on the next cool establishment.
It's surprising how a menu can give you an appetite and despite a three course lunch we were enticed into a small bistro where we enjoyed another delicious meal. Obviously sea food is a speciality here and between us over two meals if it can swim or crawl in the sea we've eaten it, just about. A paradise for sea food lovers like us. The stroll back to the van took us past the big wheel which dominates the area and whilst it was too hot this afternoon we thought we'd give it a try this evening. I'm not one for heights but it was great fun until Phil, with a gleam in her eye, tried to rock our chair from side to side!
View from the big wheel.
Last night we stopped at Broglie 49.00668 0.53056 which is a lovely village and which had the quietest, most peaceful Aire we've ever stopped in. Beautifully laid out with big pitches and plenty of green space to sit out in. A river next to the site and a cycle track through woodland which I hurtled down one way for five miles or so and crawled back on the return trip!
No fishing for the last couple of days despite our proximity to water but I hope to rectify that tomorrow when we stop at Dieppe.