June 15, 2014
Honfleur is a key tourist destination in Normandy, with its lovely port, which has inspired so many artists.
"This little maritime city, which has somehow escaped the ravages of time, has managed to preserve the traces of a rich historical past, which make it one of the most visited towns in France, with its picturesque small streets and old houses".
Its international renown is partly due to the authenticity of its narrow paved streets and timber-framed house-fronts, its little shops, charming hotels and typical restaurants, but also to the variety of its monuments and the wealth of its cultural and artistic heritage."
So it is described in Tourist brochures. In my opinion that isn't quite the truth. It hasn't escaped the ravages of time, because most of the historical buildings are falling apart. In this time of the year when I was there i.e. beginning May, it looked rather sad and neglected. Lots of shops and restaurants were closed. Maybe during the summer season packed with tourists visiting this little town, it looks better and wakes up. The description was probably true a century ago, but now if I compare it to the other side of the channel in England, I was very disappointed.
Honfleur, was and is a town of painters and Impressionism. The changing light on the Seine estuary inspired Courbet, Monet, Boudin and many others. Today dozens of galleries and artists' studios continue to display a wide choice of classical and modern paintings, but most of them were closed ! If you want to know a little more about Honfleur you can read it here
I managed to drive through these little streets, my rearview mirrors almost touching the walls !
A victim of time
Once beautiful architecture
At least I found one souvenir shop open !
A few houses however still looked good, at least from far
The habour was very pittoresque
and despite the out of season time a carousel was turning around for kids. A group of Japanese tourists admired the harbour.
Tuesday, June 17, 2014
June 15, 2014