Second Port of Call: Le Havre

5 Jul

Our port of call today was billed as the gateway to Paris by the cruise line. But, we visited Paris for a week while we were living in Germany and couldn’t see the sense of taking a 2.5-hr. train ride (each way) for a whirlwind visit of the City of Lights. We had bundled up for what we expected would be a windy and possibly rainy day. Instead the sun shone relentlessly, making it much hotter than we expected. We explored Le Havre in the morning then made our way by bus to Honfleur.


Le Havre is far from picturesque. The city suffered much devastation after both world wars. In the fifties it was rebuilt by the architect Perret in a rather severe manner with poured concrete buildings. We were curious to see the Church of St. Joseph, designed by Perret. It had a surprising charm for a modern church. We strolled over to Le Havre’s Church of Notre Dame then past the basin to the train station where we caught the bus to Honfleur.


Such a contrast to Le Havre! Honfleur was oozing with charm and quaintness. There were half-timbered houses, some painted in pastel colors, buildings covered with slate shingles, a cheerful carousel, boutiquey shops, gourmet food shops and charming bistros everywhere you turned. We had a fabulous lunch at L’ecailleur. It was a set menu and the portions were so generous we didn’t need to eat dinner that night. What a delight it was to spend an afternoon in Honfleur.


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