27 August 2006

Rouen promenade

Yesterday we made the four-hour drive to Rouen, in Normandy, to see friends. We drove over to Tours, where we caught the new autoroute that links Tours, Le Mans, Alençon, and Rouen. The drive was smooth and easy, even though it rained part of the time. We arrived at our friends' house at 1:00 p.m., in time for lunch.

Typical houses in the old city of Rouen

While there wasn't a lot of traffic, it was interesting to see that about 4 out of 5 cars on the autoroute were British. A lot of them were pulling camping trailers. When we stopped at a roadside service station/restaurant complex, again most of the people there seemed to be British. Summer vacation is over, and the Brits are returning home.

I like seeing these ghosts of advertising from the past.

Yesterday afternoon, we went for a nice walk around Rouen, which is a beautiful old city. It's called the city of a hundred steeples, and the museum city. It's the old capital of Normandy, and it's the place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake by the ... English.

The façade of the Cathédrale de Rouen

There's an amazing cathedral in Rouen. It's the one Monet painted so many times. There are also two other fantastic churches too, called Saint-Ouen and Saint-Maclou.

L'église Saint-Ouen à Rouen

Back in the early 1970s, when I was about 24 years old, I spent a year as a teaching assistant in a lycée, a high school, in Rouen. I taught English (or American, as it's called here). It's nice to have friends in Rouen and to be able to come back from time to time.

The Palais de Justice in Rouen has recently been sandblasted and restored

When we were out walking around the old town, I saw this woman playing the accordeon for spare change. I dropped a coin in her basket and she let me take her picture.



  1. That's a great photo of the accordion player, Ken. Kind of reminds me of the "Feed the birds" lady who hung out in front of the cathedral in "Mary Poppins," a movie you probably never saw.

    You didn't drive back the same day, did you?

  2. "It's nice to have friends here and be able to come back from time to time."

    So glad to have had both of you here for the weekend ! We're already looking forward to your next visit ;-) Bises. Marie

  3. Hi Ginny, no, we spent the weekend with Marie and her husband. I'll be posting more about it. Then we went and spent 24 hours in Paris with Charles-Henry. It was all a lot of fun.

    Marie, Walt and I really enjoyed it -- Rouen, Dieppe, your house, the weather, the company. Nice...


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