Saturday, October 17
We woke up in Rouen this morning, and since we had not signed up for any tours today, we headed out on our own. Lots of churches here, and, of course, a Cathedrale Notre Dame.
The Church of Saint-Maclou graces the Place Saint-Barthélemy which is lined with beautiful half-timbered houses. These houses are of overhanging construction, with each floor projecting a foot over the one below, saving both land and money. The church is an example of Gothic architecture.
Next church was the Abbey Church of Saint-Ouen, which stands near a statue of Napoleon and a plaza with zodiac signs in the pavement.
On our way to the Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc church, we passed by the Cathedrale Notre Dame and a beautiful building that is undergoing reconstruction. It was the Palais de Justice (law courts) which had been largely destroyed by Allied bombardments in August 1944. The original construction dates to 1499 during the reign of Louis XII.
We were delighted to happen upon an open air market surrounding the Church of Sainte Jeanne-d’Arc. The windows were removed from the old church to preserve them during World War II, and incorporated into the modern church. The sweeping curves of the church are meant to evoke the flames that consumed Sainte Jeanne-d’Arc.
This was also the site of medieval market, and the current design incorporates chalet market stalls, which were part of the open market that we happened upon.
Part of the old foundation sits next to the church.
We left Rouen in the afternoon, headed for Les Andelys. The weather was nice enough for us to spend time on top of the boat, viewing the lovely countryside. There are many limestone outcroppings, and some people have built their homes into them. These homes stay cool in summer and warm in winter.
Les Andelys is a lovely artist town, topped by its own chateau – Chateau Gaillard. Many of the artists are clearly inspired by Monet. We saw several paintings which were inspired by his garden.
The crew staff put on a show after dinner. Lots of laughs, followed by dancing in the lounge.