Archive for August 26th, 2018

August 26, 2018

The ocean is all around you, Honfleur!

So in continuing with my special place in Normandy, I have come to realize long ago that even if the beach is not the best, the ocean, water is all around Honfleur and an integral part of its attraction. There is nothing better than walking ,eating or playing knowing you have the ocean next to you. This Honfleur has plenty and we love it as much as our lovely Brittany.

As said, I have several posts on Honfleur here , covering several years, so no need to remind you search will find them all. There is no need to tell you about the history of the place, it has been mentioned plenty already. I like to give you a bit on the ocean side and photos, more photos of my special HONFLEUR.

I will first tell you a bit from the city on the old basin or Vieux Bassin the ones we all go to as soon as arriving in Honfleur.

The paddock harbor , called Havre Neuf until the construction of the Central basin. It then becomes Western Basin or old basin (Vieux Basin in French). In the inside of the fortified enclosure was the port, consisting of a stranded haven of 120 meters in length and 50 meters in width, which communicated with the sea by a ship lock, wide of 15 to 20 meters and located roughly on the site of the levy of the Western Basin(Bassin de l’ouest). This harbor of stranding, at the bottom of which the standing water resulted by means of locks located at the site occupied today by the Petite Poissonnerie shop, was bordered, on the west side, by a narrow wharf and by houses; beyond these houses, the fortified enclosure was on the very site where we now see the wall of the Saint Catherine Wharf. (Quai Sainte Catherine) .

Two towers dominated and defended the entrance to the Inner Harbor. It is in this basin so small, which barely had a surface equal to half of the smallest of the current basins, that the Honfleur sailors were arming their ships, in quite a large number at a time, for Newfoundland and Canada, for the East Indies and the coast of Guinea, finally for the race and for these warlike expeditions in which their pavilion was honored as  Colbert sent Duquesne to this port to examine what improvements he was likely to have. The demolition of the fortifications was decided, dominated by the neighboring hillsides of the city and outside to withstand the artillery of the time; the Bourbon bastion (or barre) and the largest part of the enclosure on the western side were razed; The houses to the west of the port (Quai Sainte Catherine) were expropriated and, in 1684 – 1690, Wharf walls were built, a hunting lock established at the bottom of the basin, the jetty of the lieutenancy repaired. The work was completed in 1690.  The wall of the Saint Catherine Wharf was redone in 1791 – 1794; The wall of the Quai Saint Etienne from 1811 to 1813, when the demolition of the old wall, dating back to the reign of Louis XIV, was deemed indispensable. This ancient wall, of which there remains vestiges beneath the embankments of the Quai Saint Etienne, was two or three meters behind the wall of the wharf by which it was replaced. It can shelter from 1668 vessels from 3 to 400 tons. In the 18C, the vieux bassin (old basin) was reserved for coasters and armaments for fishing. Samuel de Champlain, Jean Denis or even Binot Paulmier de Gonneville  embark from these docks for great expeditions to the New World.

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The old basin (vieux basin) now hosts many pleasure craft. Honfleur is a port of call for boaters going up the Seine in the direction of Paris. The quays in the Seine are host to many cruise ships. The inland port allows to receive during the season of the river cruisers with Honfleur offering the possibility to receive 5 steamers simultaneously.

Boat trips out of Honfleur: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/discover/sea-side/boat-trips/

Honfleur

Fishing: About fifteen trawlers practice artisanal fishing in Honfleur. The grey shrimp “the little Grey” is very popular here and is still caught by some boats. The St Jacques clam shells of the Seine Bay occupies part of the fleet from October to the end of May, depending on the harvest resources. You will, also find the Sole and various fish dishes according to the seasons that can be bought at the bottom of the trawler or fish market.

Info on the port of Honfleur: http://www.honfleur-tourism.co.uk/discover/sea-side/harbours/

Marine forecast on weather in French; http://marine.meteoconsult.fr/meteo-marine/meteo-abords-du-port/manche/previsions-meteo-honfleur-274-0.php

The Butin beach is already a Blue Pavilion (means is tops )since 2009. The Butin beach is equipped with sanitary facilities, beach cabins, showers, a paddling pool, a playground and a snack bar. Since 2017, a minibus ensures a transfer between the car park and the city center, see the timetables at the bus station at rue des vases.

The Pavillon Blue award here: http://www.pavillonbleu.org/laureats-communes-2018/14-honfleur.html

My beach site Plages Tv I always follow and no problems in 28 years of beaching in France. http://en.plages.tv/detail/butin-beach-honfleur-14600

Honfleur

And one organization that is dear to me. Very much on the sea saving lives and helping those wishing a final rest at sea. SNSM =société nationale de sauvetage en mer or in English: National Marine Rescue Society,their history there here.

It is necessary to go back to 1848 to find the first bases of a real sea rescue organization in Honfleur, i.e. at the time of the creation of the Chamber of Commerce. The sinking of an English brig, the “Endearvour”, in 1857, in front of the port of Honfleur, proving the urgency of a better organization and, by decree dated August 12, 1857, the Emperor Napoleon III created the rescue Station which he entrusted the management to the Chamber of Commerce.

In 1865 the Central Rescue Society of Shipwrecks was created in 1884, the Count of Châteauvillard, bequested to the Central Rescue Society, so that Honfleur could be endowed with a lifeboat, the rowing boat ” Châteauvillard “commissioned in 1885. In 1907, Mrs. and Ms. Augustin-Normand, ship builders in Le Havre but whose family was of Honfleur origin, offered a lifeboat to Honfleur. It was named “Jacques Augustin-Normand”. Baptized at Le Havre in 1908. By 1926, the inauguration of the new station, the shelter, and the new lifeboat “Alphonsine-Émilie” After  WWII, the Honfleur flotilla, largely destroyed by the nazis, had gradually been replaced and a new lifeboat was awarded to Honfleur by the Central Rescue Company, the “Fernand de Wegmann”.  The lifeboat “Fernand de Wegmann” was first modernised in 1973 in Cherbourg and then in 1984 in Honfleur. In 1986, the station was provisionally equipped with a second-class star, the “Robert-Edmond de Bassac”. In March 1988, the “Patrons Dubarre et Corvic” modernized in Saint Malo, joins the station of Honfleur.    In 1990, with the help of generous donors, the National Marine Rescue Society puts into service in Honfleur, a Zodiac MK III GR Inflatable boat, equipped with a 40 hp engine. Since 1994, the station has a first class vedette “Notre Dame du Port” In April 2013, the vedette boat is equipped with two new more modern engines. A new Zodiac comes in 2013 to reinforce the means of the station at Honfleur.

The Honfleur webpage for SNSM: https://www.snsm.org/etablissement/station-snsm-de-honfleur

And the same webpage with a map locator of all their stations in France: https://www.snsm.org/etablissement/carte

Honfleur

And more information in French can be had at the city of Honfleur official webpage here: http://www.ville-honfleur.com/decouvrir-honfleur/honfleur-et-la-mer/

Enjoy a beautiful city by the ocean. Honfleur will make you come back and realize even more the beauty we have in our hexagone=France.

And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

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August 26, 2018

Memories of Honfleur for a lifetime!

So again looking for post titles is not easy for the creative deficient in me so just wanted to tell you about some wonderful memories in beautiful Honfleur. You have by now, read my blog and you know what Honfleur means to all of us in our house.  There are many posts on Honfleur in my blog. Oh yes this is Calvados dept 14 of Normandy.

I wanted to just do a pictorial of memories of our shopping and eating here and give you an overall view of what is available from my point of view (cannot include all too many), just the best ones.

The Café de Paris by the old basin just in front of the Lieutenant house is great. We had tried it for breakfast , believe or not, it was good and have comeback. Webpage: Cafe de Paris

Honfleur

There were once even rides in the Carrousel yes my boys came here early and then some. Wonderful Carrousel and so happy still there for future generations of wonder kids. This is by the city hall.

Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

We ,also try a new store still with no webpage in Honfleur but elsewhere in Normandy, this is J’Irai revoir ma Normandie , or I will come back to see my Normandy, is a store on the road D580, full of goodies from Normandy from cider to biscuits, and jellies etc. Loaded and good prices just entering Honfleur .

Honfleur

 

Another wonderful place already in old town is La Curé Gourmande, 31 rue du Dauphin no webpage but candies galore a heaven for the young at heart!

Honfleur

Then, one to load up on good Normand cider is La Maison du Cidre Rosé, webpage on tourist office of Honfleur: La Maison du Cidre Rose

Honfleur

We passed by a wonderful restaurant we have been before, Le Crystal Restaurant in 3 Rue Haute, very nice quaint and romantic in first floor (US 2nd fl).  Again no webpage just on a typical old street by the lieutenant house to your right or right at Café de Paris. And one for the personal memories.

Honfleur

 

We decided to do a sample test of those we have not been or do not remember been there after so many years and not always with photo camera.

We went for breakfast in the 32 quai Sainte Catherine and found L’Albatros, very nice talking owner and about football lol! Do not need to tell you the conversation was long and fun. The breakfast superb bagel bacon and eggs with delicious café with milk and orange juice, breads all for about 12€ per person; worth it better than any hotel. No webpage but my review site in my blogroll Yelp has some info: Yelp on L’Albatros

Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

 

Wondering around and lunch time we stop at La Maison Bleue at 17 quai Saint Etienne. Here we had four big leffe Belgian beers , desserts from banana split to pear belle helene to peach melba , and croquet monsieur and madame sandwiches, all for 35€ per person  ,very expensive especially the beers at 10€ ,but worth the ambiance and location.  Again no webpage but my friendly Yelp page on my blogroll has some info. Yelp on La Maison Bleue

Honfleur

For dinner, I saw a quaint little restaurant on the main road, and knowing old town is over price as so much overrun by tourists we decided to have it outside on the next over town we were staying in hotel for the same reasons. This is in nearby D580 road La Riviére Saint Sauveur at 17 Rue des Quatre Francs, La Fregate restaurant. This was a find very nice friendly service, gourmet style food with great presentation, and the prices the best 20.50€ per person with emince de volaille, filet bar fish, crème brulée, crumble pomme rubarbe, fruit rouge tarts, a bottle of rosé wine from the côte de provence etc very nice and a repeat is in order.  A bit of tourist info on the town page in French here: City La Riviére Saint Sauveur on La Fregate

Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

And I guess doing it backwards but that is me lol! Upon arriving, we had dinner, and again we headed for city center old town, one of my sons saw this western style restaurant with American flags so you guess it we had to stop and check it out . It was a find, we love it,and lucky to find out there is one near us so so great! This is Oncle Scott’s The Country Restaurant at the Cours Jean de Vienne, Honfleur. We paid 28.37€ per person but worth it, nice ambiance, great service ,richly decorated with Harley Davidson, and American flags as well the great horses outside! Here we went beserk with the Brooklyn lager beers and Sol to boot, plenty and entrées of onion rings, and tortilla guacamole, then dishes like pulled pork, fish and chips, Baltimore crabcakes, and desserts of banana mellow , coupe coco island, coupe Americaine, and Piña Louisiana! just great a repeat is in order and near us as well. Webpage here: Oncle Scott’s see Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

Honfleur

 

 

Of course, we have stayed here several times overnight, coming from Versailles. I just did not kept the hotels but I am sure it was the Campanile, Ibis hotels here. This time we try a different one in La Riviére Saint Sauveur , the B&B Hotel . One nighter they are all good. This had two rooms ,one with twins beds and another a double bed , bathroom, TV, all you need. It was just outside Honfleur ,walking would have been like 30 minutes but we took the car into the city. Parking there is 4€ for the day! The hotel breakfast was 6,15€ all you can eat and it was great even with bacon and eggs! hotel room for four was 110€ TTC (all taxes included) per night. More info here: B&B hotel at La Riviére Saint Sauveur

Honfleur

Honfleur

 

 

 

We went on foot on the streets of Honfleur to remember many times our walks here amongt the quaint architecture of the city and so much romantic. It is now overloaded with tourists from all over, but still worth the visit for the ambiance, architecture, sea life, and our memories. Some street shots to follow as there will be more. Enjoy them as we do.

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And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

 

August 26, 2018

Old fashion Trouville sur Mer!

On my last trip out, more a necessary than the will, we had some extra time and decided to come to the nearby town of Trouville sur Mer in dept Calvados 14 region of Normandy. I have passed by it several times but never really got into it as heard was a bit glitzy. This time we went in with the extra time and marvel of another jewel of Normandy and France even if still glitzy.

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Unusual for me will post the tourist office webpage at the beginning here: http://en.trouvillesurmer.org/

The city of Trouville sur Mer transports here: http://www.trouville.fr/index.php/infos-pratiques/les-transports

A bit of history I like

The rise of the seaside resort of Trouville sur Mer , began in the 19C with the fashion of sea bathing, is surely due to its attendance by a small group of painters: Charles Mozin; The “discoverer of Trouville” in 1825 , Paul Huet, A. G. Decamps and his pupil Louis Godefroy Jadin, Eugène Isabey, Corot, whose Musée d’Orsay provides at least one proof Trouville fishing boats stranded in the channel and also Eugene Boudin. The writer Alphonse Karr also contributed to his fame. King of the French, Louis-Philippe also helped the launch of Trouville, which he opposed to Dieppe the legitimate side of monarchy, and it was from this station that he tried to leave for England during the revolution of 1848. Gustave Flaubert met with Elisa Schlésinger during the summer of 1836. Dubbed the “Queen of Beaches”, this grand bourse resort according to a ranking of guides Joanne is soon challenged by Deauville (see this post). Alexandre Dumas talked about it in his memoirs.

trouville sur mer

Trouville sur Mer

Some of the things to see here are

The Hôtel des Roches Noires (Black Rocks Hotel). Former palace inaugurated in 1866, whose entrance hall was decorated by Robert Mallet-Stevens. The hotel was painted by Claude Monet in 1870 and was the resort of Marcel Proust and Marguerite Duras.  The Villa Montebello built in 1865; now hosts the museum of the city.Church Notre Dame du Bon-Secours. The Casino with the Lousiana theme ,first casino with this décor in Europe, build in 1912.

Trouville sur Mer Trouville sur Mer

However, for us , the beach was it, large extensive white sandy beach with huge assortment of fun things to do for all the family and a beautiful swimming complex right on the beach.

One beach site, Plages.tv,  I use here in France to guide me is here on Trouville beach: http://en.plages.tv/detail/beach-trouville-sur-mer-14360

trouville sur mer trouville sur mer

We are even thinking of coming back in quieter times and just marvel of the scenery. It is recommended for all families even if a bit glitzy, upper scale beach town is really open to all pricewise I meant.

I figure the best combination is to be here at daytime for the beach, and then go about 14 km down along the D513 road to Honfleur (see next posts)  for the evening dining and sightseeing activities. Food for thought…..There is so much to see in my belle France!! My friends and family asked me but I tell them not enough time in my lifetime to see it all, just enjoy the bit I have so far, which is not too shabby ok ::)

Enjoy the short post and introduction together with me. And remember, happy travels , good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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August 26, 2018

Basilica of Saint Martin at Tours!

And while at wonderful historical Tours (which is literally Towers in English) in the Indre et Loire dept 37 of the Centre Val de la Loire region, we come to another beauty of my belle France. This is the Basilica Saint Martin of Tours.

A major work of art and a very intense religious building indeed. I have written several posts on Tours and what to see inside but really need to do justice to this basilica and write a post just on it; so here I go.

Tours Tours Tours Tours

The Basilica of Saint Martin of Tours is of course in Tours in the department 37 of Indre-et-Loire in the region of Centre Val de la Loire The former collegiate Church of St. Martin de Tours, which was essentially from the 11C, was decommissioned, vandalized and transformed into a stable in 1793, then demolished following the collapse of the vaults in 1797, only two towers being kept. The present Basilica, much more modest, was built between 1886 and 1902 in the Neo-Byzantine style it is a basilica in limestone, granite and marble, covered with slates. It was consecrated as a Basilica in 1925. The statue of Saint Martin, which crowns the dome, weakened by the storms of early 2014, was deposited to be restored; Its base was consolidated and the statue was re-established on top in 2016, in anticipation of the Saint Martin day, celebrated every year on November 11th.

Tours

A bit of history I like

The body of Saint Martin, who died in Candes, was transported to Tours and modestly buried on 11 November 397, three days after his death, in a Christian cemetery outside the city, on the verge of the Roman road to the west. According to Gregory of Tours, Bishop Brice built a wooden building in 437 to house the tomb and the Mantle of Saint Martin, called for this reason a Chapel. Instead the first Basilica of Martin’s Tomb, whose dedication took place in 470, Martin’s body was buried in a sarcophagus behind the altar of the new Basilica. A large block of marble overlooking the tomb, marking its place. In 508, it was in the Church of Bishop Saint Perpet that Clovis, in the aftermath of his victory over the Visigoths at the Battle of Vouillé, he received the insignia of consul from the ambassadors of Emperor Anastase, following which he rode the distance between the Basilica and the Cathedral of Tours by throwing money at the people.

Tours

From the reforms of Pepin the Writ, which wanted to impose the rule of Saint Benedict to all the monasteries of the Franks’ Kingdom at 741AD. Finally a council held in Aix-la-Chapelle in 817. Imperatively imposed the Benedictine rule on all the communities entitled Monasteries; The clerics of Saint-Martin had to choose between the status of monks and that of canons and adopted the second. From that date, the sanctuary of St. Martin is no longer considered a monastery, but as a Collegiate Church served by canons. The head of the community is still called “Abbot of St. Martin”, but from 844 it is a layman (in 860, it is Prince Louis, heir of Charles the bald; in 866, it is Robert the Fort, count of Tours and ancestor of the Capetian).. This was the main place of Christian pilgrimage in the 5C (Saint Martin was in any case the Holy protector of Gaul). The Council of Chalon-sur-Saône in 813 gives this pilgrimage the same importance as that of Rome.

Tours

It was then an important step on the Via Turonensis of the Pilgrimage of Santiago de Compostela. The sanctuary was one of the five major pilgrimage Churches. In the 15C, the Basilica benefited from the munificence of King Louis XI, who lived in the Royal castle of Plessis-du-Parc-lèz-Tours, and his funeral were held there in 1483.

During the war of religion of 1562, the shrine of Saint Martin was burned by the Protestants and only a piece of the skull and an arm bone were kept. The old building survived until the French revolution, but in conditions of great decay due to lack of maintenance since well before 1789. In 1793, the Basilica was transformed into a stable to house a hundred horses and for 4 years it was the Martin’s stable. In 1797, a report found that the chaining that maintained the Basilica were partly stolen; The vaults of the ambulatory collapse in November and, as a safeguard for the inhabitants, the municipality orders the complete demolition of the Basilica. The monumental organ of Lefevre (5 keyboards, double 32 games), also disappeared at that time. Of all this, only the Charlemagne tower (half-collapsed in 1928, restored in 1963), the clock tower and the canonical houses in the neighborhood of Saint-Martin cloister, a gallery of the Renaissance cloister, remains.

Announcing the rediscovery of the tomb of Saint Martin de Tours in 1860 which allowed to restore the Martinien cult and revive a project of restitution of the grandiose site the new Basilica, smaller than the old one, would be perpendicular (oriented north-south ) and would share with it only the location of the former bedside, above the tomb of Saint Martin. The work began in 1886, the crypt with the tomb was inaugurated in 1889, the church in 1890, and the whole of the masonry was completed in 1902, allowing the Basilica to be opened to worship the following year. Cardinal Maurin consecrated the building as a basilica on July 4, 1925, and the layout of the forecourt was completed in 1928.

Built in 1843 for the Hospital of the Good Savior in Caen, in an 18C buffet, the current organ is bought by the city of Tours in 1956, and has undergone several restoration campaigns. It has two keyboards and a crankset for 17 games: In all, these are more than 1,800 pipes. It was restored and modified in 1977. Stéphane Béchy, was co-holder of 1984 to 1991 had made a recording in 1984 with works by Bach, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Jehan Alain

The tradition ended as to the last abbot Robert, Count of Paris, elected King of the Franks in 922, and a lay abbot after him, the title of lay abbot of Saint-Martin was transmitted from father to son in the Robertiens, then Capetian, and was carried by the kings of France from Hugues Capet until 1789.

Good to say: a religious institution, the petit Clercs of Saint-Martin de Tours, was founded in the years 1920 by Canon Rutard, diocesan priest. Seminarians from other French regions rich in vocation for the diocese of Tours, they also ensured daily religious service at St. Martin’s Basilica. Boarders, the little clerics of Saint-Martin followed their education on the spot, then followed their courses in various colleges of Tours (Collège Saint Grégoire, college Notre-Dame La Riche). The institution, living in particular of the generosity of the Touraine people, settled in the shadow of the Basilica at 3 Rue Baleschoux until 1970, the date of their disappearance. The little clerics of Saint Martin gave about 300 priests to the Diocese of Tours.

Some of the webpages to help you plan your trip to this wonderful city of the Loire are

Official Basilica Saint Martin site : http://www.basiliquesaintmartin.fr/

The tourist office of the old region of Touraine: https://www.touraineloirevalley.co.uk/cultural-heritage/saint-martin-basilica-tours/

Tourist office of Tours on St Martin basilica: http://www.tours-tourism.co.uk/see-and-do/chateaux-loire-gardens-heritage/legendary-saint-martin

The region of centre val de la loire on Tours: https://www.loirevalley-france.co.uk/outings/city-visits/tours-ville-dart-et-dhistoire-heart-loire-valley

There you go hope it helps you. Tours is linked very easily to Paris by train with good parking and even connection to the TGV station outside in St Pierre des Corps. Wonderful road takes you there easy too like we take the D952 along the Loire river. We like to park by Nationale underground parking. You can take from Paris the A10 or the A11 to Le Mans and then the A28 down to Tours.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

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