Day 4: Rouen

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Pictures are going to be smaller today, our satellite Internet on the ship is not cooperating.

Today was an easier day, as we sailed in the morning. A lecture at 10am delivered the story of Joan of Arc, essential for visiting Rouen.

We were the first off the ship again, right at 1pm when we arrived in town. Up the hill to the TI office, which was right across the street from the Cathedrale Notre-Dame. Monet stayed in the building right across the street and painted the church over 30 times. Ellen had Rick Steves’ walking tour on her kindle, so that guided us around the town. The church had been heavily damaged in World War II, you can still see the patchwork in the ceiling where the spire crashed though after the bombings.

The streets had the half timber buildings we had seen in Vernon, but more of them, whole blocks long.

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The Church of Joan of Arc is quite modern, built in 1997 on the site of her burning. The shape of the roof is meant to evoke the flames.

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Walking the streets of Rouen was wonderful, it is large enough to have 2 department stores and lots of shops. There were a large number of chocolate shops, each with tons of nicely decorated, handmade Easter candy. We stopped to get out of the cold and had afternoon tea/coffee before seeing the grand clock, Gros Horologe.

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We walked back to the ship for a brief visit and to hear the plans for tomorrow’s visit to Normandy. Then we were back out to town. Ellen found a great bistro, Gill Cote Bistro, the informal cousin to a more fancy and expensive restaurant. We arrived for dinner at 7:30pm and were the only ones in the place. Everyone else who came later was French, we took that as a good sign. We had wine, veal for Ellen and chicken for David, and shared a huge dessert, thick dark chocolate with hazel nuts on the button, light chocolate mousse on the top. Yum!

We walked back to the ship, uploaded our pictures to our iPads, and are turning in early with an early 2 hour bus ride to the beaches tomorrow.

I’ll end with a picture of the Palais de Justice, whose outer walls still bear the marks of the Normandy invasion.

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