France Odyssey: Seine River, Reims, & Paris Day 5

This morning we arrived in Le Havre, France. It was a major port city in the Normandy region and it was located where the Seine River emptied into the English Channel.

Near our dock we could see the last US Army tugboat that served here from 1944-1946. The boat was now a museum ship.

We rode through the town of Le Havre on our way to Étretat. Le Havre was almost completely rebuilt after WWII. It was the first modern city and one of two post-WWII cities recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. Auguste Perret was the chief architect for reconstruction and used reinforced concrete.

A little over 370 acres of concrete made up the city.

This memorial was to commemorate residents of La Havre who had lost their lives in WWI, WWII, wars in Indochina (1946-1954) and Algeria (1954-1962).

The “Catène de Containers” art installation was constructed from shipping containers by Vincent Ganivet for La Havre’s 500th anniversary.

Catène de Containers

The Le Havre Cathedral was one of the few buildings that survived the bombings of WWII. The main facade was Baroque and the bell tower was from around 1520.

The Cathedral was built in the 16th-17th century and was only partially damaged during WWII.

This morning our first stop was Étretat. It was a seaside town that was known for its white cliffs which many impressionist painters had painted. The most famous was Claude Monet.

Erosion created arches and the needle-like structure. We had time to climb the east side or west side of the beach. We climbed the west side path that also lead to an 18-hole golf course. The views were beautiful from the top of trail.

Click through the slideshow to see the gorgeous cliffs, beach, and town!

The old wooden Covered Market was built in 1927 for fish stalls. Today there were shops inside.

Old Covered Market

Etretat had old medieval half-timbered homes.

Maurice Leblanc’s home was built around 1850. Maurice was a French novelist. He called the home “Clos Lupin” after his fictional character from his popular short stories that began in 1905. The home was confiscated by the Germans during its occupation of Etretat. The home eventually was purchased by his granddaughter and she turned it into a museum.

Our next stop was Honfleur, France.

Le Vieux Bassin, the old port was a focal point of this beautiful city. It was lined with distinctive tall, narrow, timber-framed, and slate-clad townhouses built from the 16th to 18th century.

Six story townhomes

Sainte Catherine Church was the largest wooden church in France. Its bell tower was separate from the main building.

The inside of the church.

The La Lieutenance was the last bastion of medieval Honfleur.

La Lieutenance

We walked past the town hall.

Honfleur Town Hall

We saw the Roncheville manor which once was the residence of the governors of Honfleur. We walked into the Courtyard of the Roncheville Manor.

Roncheville Manor
Closeup of the entrance to the courtyard of the manor.
the courtyard of the manor

We walked down the Rue des Petites Boucheries. The name of this street dated to the 17th century and was named because it was lined with butchers stalls.

Near the harbour was a beautiful vintage carousel. Four of us rode it and enjoyed our ride!

After our tour of the town we had free time. We walked around the beautiful harbor and then found an outdoor patio for champagne and an afternoon snack. The owner, waitress, and a neighbor child helped us and were so kind and attentive.

Enjoying our champagne!

It was a perfect way to end our time in Honfleur!

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