Sunday, May 13, 2012

Rouen is our Next Destination

05/14, Monday
This morning is travel time...return car, take a train from Colmar to Paris, and transfer to another train station for Rouen. It is a pretty 25 minute ride to Colmar where we say good-bye to Stubby.

Rouen is famous for the Monet paintings of the cathedral facade in various (28 renditions) light, weather, and seasons. The You-Tube below shows his impressions (the music is annoying, so turn down your sound). Compare Monet's artistic experiments with light to our photo from today.

Also this is where Joan of Arc was executed in 1431.

In Paris, we hurry to get from Gare de l'Est to Gare St Lazare, walking and taking a Metro. We have a few minutes to spare, so Mom has her phone updated with more time. I couldn't believe an "orange store" for the phone was right next to the train station.

Rouen is the 36th largest metropolitan area in France...about 480,000 people...bigger than we thought. It's the capital of the Haute-Normandie region, 1-1/2 hours NW of Paris. The Seine River which passes through Paris also runs through the middle of Rouen. The city was badly damaged during WWII and it is still rebuilding, unfortunately the new architecture is not very good.

Our host, Daniel Paterne, is an older man (80) who rents out a room in his home. He was an architect and has an eclectic decorating taste which works as in a magazine photo. During his early career, he worked as the architect for Club Med. He designed and built 17 of their sites in French colonies...Morocco, Ivory Coast, Haiti...because of his experience with submarine design.

We take time to visit the tourist info center where we get some ideas of what to see tomorrow. The Rouen (Monet) church is across the Place de la Cathedrale from the info center so we make a visit. It is a huge building built in the 1200s. The spire has been rebuilt several times after fires and lightning strikes. Now it is a graceful steel structure with many open spaces. It is the tallest in Europe.

After walking through the old area of town (it is small compared to the population of the city due to bombing) and down to the river (not very attractive unlike in Paris), we find a convenient place to eat. Mom has fish and I have duck, both tasty and nicely presented.

We are both very tired, almost weary. It may be we are getting travel weary after seven months on the road.

1 comment:

  1. Can you please, please contact me, I've been
    looking for Daniel Paterne for a long time!
    He was my mentor a long time ago - Andrew
    canon20digital (at)