Haute-Normandie (Now Normandy)
Giverny is located about 75 km from Paris. On one of our first tours of France, this, with Karen being an artist, was one of our mandatory stops. I was concerned that I would not have enough to keep my interest. How long could I look at flowers? Well not to worry, the visit was great, there is plenty to see. Despite the large number of people who visit Giverny each year, there are numerous walkways so provide plenty of opportunity to get away from the others.
The walk ways take you through the flower gardens and then through the wooded area, where there are streams, ponds, bridges and of course the famous water lilies.
We drove, but you can take a train from Paris to the town of Vernon. It is about a 45 minute ride. There at the train station there are buses that meet all the trains or you can take a taxi.
It was way back in 1990 and 1991 that we visited Rouen. Approaching the city by car is not the most plesant sight. This is the 4th largest port in France. The waterfront is an industrial centre.
But keep going, as in the centre of the town the old streets are pedestrian areas and there are plenty of half-timbered houses to look at.
The Notre Dame Cathedrdal is one of the cathedrals of France to see.
We stayed at a small hotel, the Hotel de la Cathedral which was located right in the centre of the town. Although this hotel was not a high end hotel, small, with 23 rooms. It gave us a French experience. Interestingly, in 2011 it is rated on Trip Advisor as #15 in terms of hotels in Rouen!
We walked about the Place due Vieux Marcheé, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake back in 1431. There is a modern church now on the square, but it did have some impressive 16th Century stained glass windows.
The Rue du Gross Horlogue leads through the famous Gros Horloge Archway - a large clock. In 1990 we stayed at a hotel right beside the clock.