Thatch & Sea

by Don McCann

One of the stops on my recent Avalon Waterways cruise on the Seine River was Caudebec, which provided for a tour to a country village with thatched roof cottages and homes in the morning and to the coast to Honfleur in the afternoon.

Similar to our previous stop in Les Andelys, we docked right in the heart of town and could easily walk to everything this community had to offer.  However, there was no time for exploring when we arrived; that would come later!  After our arrival, we boarded a motorcoach into the countryside to visit a small village of half-timbered houses with long, sloping thatched roofs.  Like so many times on a river cruise, this tour was great in its simplicity.  We had an overview from our guide on the coach, then we made a stop to simply wonder the area in a small group to see the homes and gardens.  It was such a delight!  We’ve all heard of ‘thatched roof’ homes, but many of us have not seen one, certainly so up close.

The remainder of the day was spent visiting the seaside town of Honfleur, which is a place I’ve wanted to visit for several years.  Think of a quaint port town in Maine, a bit larger and French-style.  Yes, there is much history in Honfleur, but to be honest, it’s mostly about the photo ops!  We followed our guide down a side street, then into an ‘alley’- type street, but with cobblestones under our feet and buildings oozing history all around us.  Next, we were directly at the marina, or harbor in the center of town with cafes, shops, and bars on each side of the u-shaped inlet.  Oh, and did I mention that it was sunny?!  The weather was picture-perfect!

We returned to the Tapestry II in time for dinner, then we ventured out in to town to walk along the wharf and through the neighborhood nearby.  Charming architecture, impressive church in the town square (just like all the other towns), and a lovely evening.  We felt very safe and it was a great end to an activity-packed day.

Thatched roof home in the Normandy region

Thatched roof home in the Normandy region

Can you name this?  Neither could we!

Can you name this? Neither could we!

Honfleur sidestreet as our tour began

Honfleur sidestreet as our tour began

Picturesque Honfleur

Picturesque Honfleur

Honfleur waterfront

Honfleur waterfront

The church in Honfleur was built by ship makers, thus the inverted "ship" shaped roof!

The church in Honfleur was built by ship makers, thus the inverted “ship” shaped roof!

Caudebec-en-Caux Notre Dame Church, outside & inside

Caudebec-en-Caux Notre Dame Church, outside & inside

Lovely manor home being restored in Caudebec

Lovely manor home being restored in Caudebec

Caudebec speed sign - note if you are within the speed limit - it says "Merci"!

Caudebec speed sign – note if you are within the speed limit – it says “Merci”!

For more information on Avalon Waterways, click here.

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