Rouen – in my journey around France

After three days in Paris, I boarded my first train to Rouen. To be honest I don’t know why Rouen, that would be a closest place to my another next destination – Mont St Michel – the second famous site after Tour Eiffel, and on the way to Rouen I may visit Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny Vernon. But I was wrong – from Rouen to Mont St Michel – a long ride, so I decided to skip Claude Monet’s garden.

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Vieux Rouen – the old town with many half-timber houses dated back in 16th century.

Rouen – a historical capital of Normandy, about two hours by train from Paris. I arrived to the train station around 9:30 in the morning. In France, you won’t see any taxi waiting for passengers in front of the station, but will find a notice with taxi phone numbers, we need to call for pick-up. If not, we can walk from station to the hotel. Many people do it! Me too, that’s why I prefer the hotel, close to the train station!

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I arrived to Rouen around 9:30 in the morning, the old town still in sleep.  

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No GPS, with a printed Google map in hands to find the hotel wasn’t fun! 

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The coffee terrace still deserted…

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The famous half-timber houses in the old town – typical Normandy style.

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 Bed & Breakfast opens only from Tuesday to Saturday in the old Rouen.

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11:00 am – only few visitors on the street, but later in the old quarter – big crowd. 

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It’s a famous Notre Dame Cathedral in gothic style, the facade, built in 13th century. It’s huge, stunning architecture, very impressive inside, I regretted that I couldn’t take much photos inside, it’s so high, so impressively vast, simply incredible.

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It was my luck with a corner sun-lighted from a glass window, look at the amazing stairs, the main hall is  indescribably spectacular with all stunning columns, I wish I have my tripod to get a better shot, but I left it in the hotel.

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Another small corner in this giant cathedral. 

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Another beauty inside this massive architecture. 

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I can’t imagine these half-timber houses are few hundreds years old, some even back to 16th century!

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The very quiet corner and my walk on this mossy cobbled pathway…as my going back to the past…

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It was early September, no rain but this pathway so greenly mossy!

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After hours and hours walking I really need this bicycle…

2bdd2-rouen_5 A commercial district – the shop in blue specialised in nice handmade porcelain stuffs… 

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and here the owner-master, very friendly, running the family business…

Early in the morning while walking around in the old town, I was passing by this shop, saw a man sitting behind the table, focusing on his work, I simply tried to get a photo of him from the outside, but by some how he noticed it and asked me to get in. I spent some time talking to him, found that together with his wife and son they are running this business – the Rouennaise traditional decorated plates.

Before I left, I wrote down for him words “Bát Tràng”, as he was interested in Oriental porcelain, but never heard about our china. I just found their site so for those who want to know more about Faience de Rouen. Click here!

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Wondering is it a furniture shop or florist – very creative and practical! 

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Or like this old bookstore with this baby pushchair…

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Each town tried to decorate during the summer with flowers, for the national competition, for the nomination of the most beautiful town in France! Very good idea! 

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Another early morning coffee place with a view to another cathedral. 

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The famous Rue du Gros Horloge – the name comes from that giant astronomical Renaissance-style  clock, first build in 16th century! Later on in the afternoon it was very crowded so I didn’t have a chance to go up to the tower to see how this clock’s inner workings! This street is crammed with all stores but some old houses are dating from 16th century still remain.

I spent only one night in this town, walked around from early morning to late afternoon, back to hotel and missed the light show at 10:00 PM. But later on during this trip, around the France, I did enjoy two fascinating light shows in Blois and Avignon. Bye for now until my next destination – the famous  Mont Saint Michel.

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