We have spent a most wonderful day at this very attractive and popular sea-side town of Honfleur in northwest France. We arrived here shortly after 1 pm following the A16 from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Abbeville, A18 to southwest of Neuchatel-en-Bray and A29, crossing the magnificent and impressive Pont de Normandie. The Motorhome aire costs €10 a day and it includes electricity and water in the price. It is within a few minutes walk of the harbour and it commands wonderful views of the Normandy Bridge and surrounding marsh land.
We’ve just been for a long walk around the town, its public gardens and quay in the very welcome sunshine and blue skies, which I was so much in need of.
The town was heaving with tourists and the café terrazas were full with customers enjoying a drink in the winter sunshine. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our gentle stroll around the resort, a favourite amongst painters and affluent Parisians. It was from here that explorers set sail for the New World and from where the Normans transported their goods back to England. Samuel de Champlain left here in 1608 on his way to found Quebec City and in 1681 Cavalier de la Salle set off to explore the New World and, finding the mouth of the Mississippi, called the region Louisiana in honour of Louis XIV.
We loved the harbour and old buildings, as well as the Public Gardens with the Jardin des Personaltiés, where various busts of famous personalities with a connexion to Honfleur are placed within boat-shaped hedges. We finished our walk with a nice beer in the harbour, sat outside just after 5 pm in the sun and, even though it wasn’t exactly cheap (€8.40 for 2 ½ pints) we felt it was worth every cent.
We had another smashing day in Boulogne-sur-Mer yesterday after doing our usual shopping at Auchan (junction 31 off A16). We stayed at the motorhome aire on the cliff-top as we did 3 years ago when we first started motorhoming in 2010. The co-ordinates are Lat 50° 44’ 39” N Long 1° 35’ 50” E. It’s good I can quote co-ordinates now, as we bought our new Guide Officiel Aires de Services Camping Car 2013, which for the first time includes this very useful information, even though we already knew about this particular one. The overnight stop cost €5.25, which we paid to the very friendly gendarme who came at around 9 am on Sunday.
Once again, we set off to explore the sea-front promenade and we were delighted to find a couple of seals playing and splashing about in the sea very close to the shore. I took a few pictures, despite the fact that it was hard to capture the exact moment when they popped out of the water. We continued our walk all the way past Nausicaá, http://www.nausicaa.co.uk/ the local aquarium, and round back again to capture the most spectacular sunset, which I was very proud to photograph for posterity. It was very interesting to see all the freshly caught fish stalls by the harbour, so we must remember this for next time we come. We had already done our shopping, so we didn’t need it this time.
We are heading for the landing beaches tomorrow and might make it as far as Utah Beach if time permits.