Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2007 - FRANCE - Leaving Bayeux - Honfleur, Le Havre, Fécamp & return to Brussels

  We awoke this day to a light drizzle. It would be our last day in France as we planned to arrive back in Brussels by early evening so that our trusty driver/tour guide Patrick could get some rest before returning to his work on Wednesday. We had our last breakfast at the Monastery, tidied up our room and check out with the always pleasant Sisters. Before leaving Bayeux we had 2 goals, first to check out the Bayeux Cathedral to see if it might be open early (it was) and 2nd to give Peg another opportunity to visit her beloved Bayeux Tapestry (she did).  The plan was simply to follow the coast scenic route toward Belgium for as far as was feasible.  We would rely on our trusty Garmin lady to route us. 


Our truly fine French dinning experience from the night before was in the small, red fronted restaurant in the center of this photo. The Le Petit Bistrot is across the street from the Cathedral & is purported to have, "An inventive cuisine prepared by a keen chef."  It was an excellent meal.

This glorious cathedral was consecrated in 1077 in the presence of William the Conqueror.  It rests on an ancient site said to once house a Roman sanctuary.

The stained glass allows the early morning light to penetrate quietly adding a sense of serenity to the space.

the art work in a cathedral can be truly amazing in its own right.  Here St. George is killing that poor little dragon again.

We didn't get a chance to learn about this fine example of the painter's craft, but it is clearly important and framed in  an impressive manner.

Brilliant glass work is such a grand way of preserving a story or making a tribute.  The French are masters.

The crypt below offered another dimension to the building and had much art of its own.

This fresco is a good example of the surprising addition to the main church.

Outside it is raining enough to cause the gargoyles to drool and bless a willing recipient. 

An adjunct to the cathedral grounds is this window on some archaeological excavations of a 10th century building, with indications that from the 13th to 17th century it was used as a bell foundry.

A favorite photo op in Bayeux is this happy old mill located very close to the "Tapestry" museum.  Time to let Peg go do her "Tapestry" thing while the boys find other distractions.

Nearby, Keith takes a photo of a well-worn ancient walkway over the bridge while Patrick takes this photo.

Peg debated about visiting the "tapestry" again.  Realizing there probably would  not be another opportunity - ever, she took a last look. She highly recommends this Bayeux Tapestry web site

The hall had only just opened so there were few other visitors and she could take her time.  How do you try to remember something forever?

Keith & Patrick took refuge in this coffee shop across the street.  The real draw was the yellow Lab.  The great caramel crepes would take second place.

Yum! caramel crepes! ... 

and soft eyes ...

A wonderful place to wait on a damp morning! But Peg is back - time to hit the road. Here is a nice UK travel review of the town of Bayeux.


Honfleur was our first stop on our return trip.  It occupies a location at the mouth of the Seine at the southern bank of the estuary.  This charming stone building is all decked out in a riot of flowers. 

These row houses along the waterfront are unique because of their slate color.  It's unknown if it is actual slate or paint.

There's always something visually captivating about wooden boats docked in a line -- like they're posing for a picture.  

While we wait for our meal, we have a bit of coffee to warm us. Nice background. We are learning to order double espressos.

Later, this interesting French meal arrives.  Peg missed out on the caramel crepe earlier. The guys had salmon in theirs (Keith had the buckwheat version).

Time to finish the coffee and take a walkabout.

This was a nice shop that featured products from the surrounding country.

The old church had quite a history and showed it.

Always intrigued by side streets, we check out this water pump.  

Rock walls and arches -- always worth a closer look.

Wouldn't it be fun to live on this quaint little walkway?

Pont de Normandie (or Bridge of Normandy) as we leave Honfleur to cross the Seine. With the design, lines & lighting, we went wild snapping shots as we crossed.

This cable-stayed bridge was opened in 1995 after 7 years of construction.  It is visually very dramatic -- worth the wait, I'd say.

Jumping past the outskirts of Le Havre, we soon pause at this Lighthouse at the end of the breakwater. This was at the harbor entrance of Fécamp on the French coast northeast of Le Havre.

Beautiful meeting of ocean and land here at Fécamp.  It was surprisingly chilling and very windy.

We head inland & southeastward. The countryside races by but you can still see the rainbow we had been chasing.

Patrick particularly enjoyed this sky as we headed for the France/Belgium border and home.  

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