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Spain, France, and England

FRANCE | Sunday, 10 May 2009 | Views [641] | Comments [1]

On the train from Le Havre to Rouen, France.

On the train from Le Havre to Rouen, France.

Day 13 – Bilbao, Spain.


            Bilbao is the port city for the Basque country, and we found the area surprisingly large and thriving.  We took a bus into the old part of the city (past the Guggenheim Museum), then walked around for a few hours looking at some pretty old stuff--lots of Roman structures still around, lots of sandstone construction.  And lots of gargoyles everywhere.


Day 15 – Rouen, France


            We docked at Le Havre, France, which is the port city at the mouth of the Seine, on the Normandy coast.  Since Le Havre didn’t have much to offer (it was flattened in the summer of 1944 and has been rebuilt in a pretty ugly utilitarian style), we jumped on a train and headed south to Rouen.  Gorgeous town with lots of old buildings, especially the wood-beam-and-plaster type of construction that always reminds us of Elizabethan England.  Rouen’s biggest claim to fame is as the home and execution place of Joan of Arc.



Day 16 – Harwich, England


            Nice sunny day (unusual for these parts) but otherwise Harwich was pretty much a bust.  It’s not a very scenic area, but the trains weren’t running today for maintenance reasons, so we couldn’t get too far from the port.  We did hop a bus into Colchester, walked around a bit, visited a Norman castle which currently houses a Roman/medieval museum, and had a pretty good lunch of fish and chips, our favorite Brit meal.




Sad for Le Havre...I would have thought that de Gaulle would have rebuilt in a style consistent with his visions of Francogloria instead of the eastern block worker's paradise motiff that you describe. Did you get anywhere close to the castle where Henry II greets Eleanor at Christmas time as she disembarks from the longboat coming up the Seine or is it the Loire....you all must be fairly dripping in history!

  Stephen the Elder May 11, 2009 4:25 AM



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