After leaving Giverny we drove further to the north west and after some time made it to Rouen in the late afternoon. Fortunately our hotel was not far from the main road but in an area close to the mostly pedestrian centre of town. Our receptionist gave us a map when we checked in and showed us a few important locations. So once we had left our gear in our room we went out for a familiarisation walk. The massive cathedral was easy to find. The spire was the highest in France we believe.
There were also lots of little alleys with old framework buildings to admire.
We made our way down to the old market square and made our way around checking out the restaurants. Many were clearly aimed at tourists. We finally decided on La Terrasse, a busy hub of activity and the meals looked reasonably priced and seemed nice from what we could see on the plates other patrons had. It was just near the Joan of Arc church, a very modern looking church with a steep roof. After dinner we walked back past the very impressive ‘horloge’ (clock) to the cathedral square.
Our receptionist had given us a very big recommendation to see the sound and light show at the cathedral at 22:00. In actual fact it was two shows. The first, entitled Viking, was having its first summer season. It depicted the Viking invasion of Rouen in the late 9th century.
The second was entitled Jeanne (Joan, to English speakers) and was a previous show enjoying a repeat season. Both were very impressively done.
At the end the crowd applauded but like us most stayed as the two were re-screened again. We felt it was well worth it to stay but we certainly slept well!
The next morning we walked back through the old part of the town. Our first stop was the cathedral where many tour groups were being led around. It was most impressive. One display made us even more impressed. It was a series of photos showing damage from World War 2 and the rebuilding process.
Some of the statues displayed had seemingly been on the exterior originally.
Next stop was the Joan of Arc church. Again we had been beaten there by a tour group but we could still move around easily. It is quite modern
but the stain glass windows were a real feature.
As the morning was fast disappearing and we had to move on we returned to our car and set off for Honfleur.