Jul 18 Honfleur

With huge wisdom and an unerring sense of direction and distance, I decided that we could visit Honfleur en route from Chambord to Dieppe!!  I later discovered that I had remembered the ferry time wrong by 3 hours but, at this point it was not on my radar.

It was quite a long way from the Loire and the extremely high temperature made us grateful for the cab air con as we navigated our way north avoiding the toll roads.

We had decided to stay on a campsite 3 km outside Honfleur and take the bus into the centre.  We were also able to get a load of washing done and have a refreshing shower.  The site was very convenient for the bus stop and they provided us with a timetable and a tourist information leaflet.  Next day we sallied forth and spent a massive 50c each on the bus fare!

Honfleur nestles between the Seine estuary and the plateau of the Pays d’Auge. It is still a fishing port and now has a popular yacht harbour.  The town has a rich historic and artistic heritage with picturesque streets and traditional buildings.  There are numerous art galleries and antique shops to enjoy.

Shopping street
Cobbled square

The harbour area was busy and colourful and there were full tables at all the restaurants that lined the surrounding streets.

Colourful harbourside buildings
Fishing boats and yachts

We also found the 16th century church of St Catherine a welcome change from the usual gothic architecture.  It is a wooden structure which was built by shipwrights and is the largest wooden church with a separate bell-tower, in France.

St Catherines church
Inside the church
Church organ
Wooden bell tower

There are plenty of interesting buildings and the sea front and park are popular with families.  There is also a beautiful merry go round at the end of the old port (vieux bassin).

One of the beautiful old buildings alongside the Vieux Bassin

After a very hot few hours roaming around Honfleur, and a delicious ice cream to cool us down, we caught the bus back to the campsite.  It would definitely be worth another visit one day as we only scratched the surface.

Back at the van I checked the itinerary for our ferry home to discover – it sailed at 1230, not 1530 – oops!  We thus had a very early start to our day on 2 Jul but it was a pretty 2 hour drive to Dieppe and we arrived in plenty of time.

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