Day 12 - Rouen
Saturday, June 18th, 2016
There is probably no better word that laughter that can be used to describe our group and the fun that we have when we travel. Laughter is almost always heard from someone no matter what the situation. Rain or shine and we have had lots of rain lately, we still laugh. As a matter of fact someone said they could always tell where the Canadian’s were because they could hear us laughing. I’m not laughing at the moment because I had this blog update done when my computer crashed and I lost it and am doing it again – but that’s life.
This morning we all enjoyed not getting up early as we indulged in a leisurely morning of cruising along the Seine. The ship arrived in Rouen early and a few of us who were doing an optional tour in the afternoon walked around the town on our own. The medieval city of Rouen is the historic capital of Normandy. We walked through the old town centre where we saw the spectacular Gothic Notre Dame Cathedral often painted by Claude Monet, and the famous Gros Horloge, a 16th-century astronomical clock. We felt transported back through time as we walked among the half-timbered buildings. Finally, we visited the 14th-century courthouse where Joan of Arc was sentenced to death and the nearby Market Square where she was martyred and we went inside the new church which is quite spectacular with an innovative design and beautiful windows. After seeing so many old Gothic churches it was nice to see a beautiful modern building.
This afternoon 6 of us did an optional excursion to a Normandy farm that grows apples and make a delicious cider and an apple liquor. To keep the grass in the orchards under control they have a heard of sheep and two hard working border collies who herd them. The demonstration of sheep herding was wonderful. The two dogs effectively herded about 200 sheep following the commands of their master. We learned all about the process of making cider and we tasted the products as well.
We arrived back in time for dinner. I tried the halibut tonight but it was not like any halibut I have ever tasted – better stick with the steak.
Tomorrow may not be a day for laughter as we head for the beaches of Normandy. I suspect it will be a day filled with deep emotion.