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Reisverslag From Paris to Rouen and back, take 2
11 mei 2014
From Paris to Rouen and back, take 2
I’ve been here for what already feels like ages and I haven’t even told you about where we go exactly, so I thought I’d do that right now!!!
Okay so on Tuesday we start in Paris. In Paris we are docked near Parc André Citroën, which is about 20 minutes walking distance from the Eiffeltower. So I’ve been told, so far I have not been able to go there and see if their right!! When you look at the map of Paris, check the Eiffeltower and go to the left and down to find out where we are docked. Then you’ll also see that we are not exactly in the centre of the city. All the good stuff is further away. But like I said Tuesdays are always pretty hectic, getting rid of one group in the morning and receiving the next group in the afternoon.
The new group always arrives between 3:30 and 4 pm. They check in with me and Jayson and other crewmembers take the guests to their rooms. Then they have time to get unpacked, around 6 pm we have a safety drill, which means we would like all the guests to go to the Sundeck and have them tell us their roomnumber so we know their all there.
Then they have a Welcome aboard cocktail party, the Heads of Departments are going to be introduced and the Cruisedirector has a little talk of what to expect during the cruise.
Between 6:30 and 7 pm we start to sail towards Vernon. So we leave Paris, which is always interesting. The ship has to go to a wider part of the Seine in Paris, to be able to turn around and face the other way. Then we really get out of the city. Paris has a lot of bridges, which are pretty low, so people are not allowed to go onto the Sundeck or they’ll loose their heads. Fortunately they’re mostly at dinner at that time!!
When we leave Paris we always see a lot of houseboats on the water, really luxurious too! They say it is very expensive to have a boat in Paris, to have a dockingplace for your houseboat is as expensive as buying a house in the city centre!!!
We sail to Vernon during the night, so we don’t get to see a whole lot. We have to go through a couple of locks, because as we go towards Rouen we go downriver and really downriver…
At around 7 am on Wednedsay we arrive in Vernon. It’s a small village with a really beautiful, very old church (11th century I believe) and it has got some ols houses as well, all crooked from old age. It is a nice village, where shops are still closed during lunchtime. From this stop the guests can either go to the Giverny, to Monet’s Gardens or they can go on a walk through the village and go the the Bizy Castle afterwards. I haven’t been to the caslte yet, so I can’t tell you a lot about that and I think most of you know Monet, how he bought a house and re-styled his garden to get inspiration for his paintings.
On Wednesday in the afternoon we have a French Pastry chef give a demonstration in making some typical French pastry. Can’t remember the name of it, but it looks like a wheel of a bicycle, since that’s what the French are also famous for, the Tour de France!
Then at around 4:45pm we sail to Rouen, this will take most of the day and night. Early in the morning of Thursday we will arrive in Rouen. Here the guests can go on a guided tour through the city in the morning. Rouen is a nice town, with a hideous suburb so the speak and a beautiful, historic centre. This is the city where they put Joan of Arc to the stake, there’s a sign on a marketsquare saying it has happened there. How they know for sure I don’t know, I will have to ask the guides!! But of course it is good for tourism!! They can buy chocolates called Joan’s Tears here!!haha
After lunch the guest have the choice to go to Honfleur or stay here in Rouen. Most of them go to Honfleur, which is an hours busride from here. It is a seatown, with colourful houses in the harbour, lots of fishingboats, nice restaurants and lots of galleries. I have not been there yet, but I will go when the weather is nicer!!
In the afternoon, after the guests come back from Honfleur, we have Nigel Stewart give a lecture on D-Day and the beaches in the afternoon. I have still not been able to hear his entire lecture, but I’m sure it will give the guests smething to think about and to give them an insight into what they are going to see the next day.
On Thursday night we serve a Local Chef’s dinner, where a Chef from Rouen is cooking a meal for the guests. To be honest I’m not sure if he actually does any of the work, since all the preperations have already been done by the time he comes. So I guess he’s just there to explain what’s what!
Then we stay here overnight and on Friday the guests have the choice to go to either the Normandy Landing Beaches or to get a Taste of Normandy. Most people go to the beaches, which is where D-Day started in WWII. This is always an emotional, long day, but from what I understand well worth it.
The guests that go for the Taste of Normandy, go to the Bayeux Tapestry, which was supposedly made by the wife of William the Conqeror…but Queen’s mostly had other people do everything for them and when you look at the size of the thing, you just know she had other people make it!! Normandy is famous for it’s cows, big brown, sturdy animals, who make the camembert cheese. Normandy is also famous for Calvados, a liquore.
So the people that go on this excursion, generally feel like they can skip dinner!haha
On Friday evening we have entertainment in the form of a singer who sings songs by Edith Piaf and her own work. I don’t know if she gets a lot of people to listen to her (I know our NR is crazy about her…) but after such a long day, most people just want to go to bed!
Friday night are on our way back to Paris, but our first stop is Les Andelys, on Saturday morning, people can take a guided tour through the city, or go up to the castle. That’s Chateau Gaillard, which is nothing more then a ruin actually, but it looks really nice!! Les Andelys is a very tiny village, whit only 2 shops and a church so to speak! But I have seen ladies come back with a lot of things, so I guess the 2 shops sell nice things!!
Then at noon we sail on towards Conflans. So we will all be on the ship the rest of the day. People are entertained with a movie, a tour through the Galley or kitchen…it always amazes people to see so much food come out of such a small kitchen! And sometimes they can also go to the Wheelhouse to see the captain’s domain.
We are in Conflans on Saturday evening, mostly just after dinner. People can go out to walk around, but this is also a small town. More shops then in Les Andelys, but it is still small. And on Sundays everything is closed. But there’s a market with fresh meat, vegetables, cheese, fish..looks good, but the smells…..
There’s an ancient tower, also a ruin and there’s a ship which is transformed into a church, but I think I’ve already told you about that.
Here the guests go on an excursion either to Auvers sur Oise, where Van Gogh lived the last days of his life. They go to see his house, the church and lavender fields he used to paint. Or they can go to Malmaison, which is the house Napoleon and Josephine lived when they were still happy.
Then after lunch som guests go to Versailles. The rest of us will sail on towards Paris, where we will pick the guests going to Versailles up at St.Denis. A suburb of Paris with a beautifull church where you will find the graves of Catherine the Medici, Henry II, Marie-Antoinette and Louis VI. Unfortunately people don’t have time to go and see this church, but I have been there before, so that’s how I know!
We will arrive at our dock across from the André Citroën parc at around dinnertime. Some guests will go on a Illuminated tour through Paris that same evening. Then on Monday is the last chance to see the city, they can either go on a guided tour, a bustour or on their own. And in the evening some people go for dinner and a show at the Moulin Rouge. I’ve heard the food is not all that good, but most of the people go there for the show, so I guess that doesn’t matter.
And then on Tuesday we come full circle so to speak! In the morning most people go back home, others get to stay a little longer in Paris or they go on another Avalon cruise to the South.
And for us it is time to get the ship ready for the next group and we do it all over again!!haha
11 mei 2014 15:08 | Door: Paula Edwards
Wow what an amazing trip!