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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Traveling – Rouen, France

In 2003 my wife and I spend a month traveling around the country of France.  We started with several days in Paris, then picked up our rental car (within the heart of Paris – that’s a whole another story) and headed to Rouen for the night.

We had decided to use the smaller roads to make navigation a little easier and we could stop anywhere along the way to sightsee.  My wife wanted to visit Giverny, the former home and studio of Claude Monet.  Along the road to Giverny, there were some interesting holes in a white chalk mountain face, so we wanted to turn around to get a better look.  I turned into a little road that leads into a farmer’s field, and had to back into the driveway of the farmers house to turn around.  I was watching the tree on the left side of the car to make sure I didn’t hit it.  What I didn’t see was the two foot high stone wall on the right side of the car until we heard the crunch of the metal of the passenger door.  We didn’t hurt the wall, but I really messed up the side of the new rental car.  Oh well, off to Giverny!

We really enjoyed our walk through Monet’s gardens and to be able to spend time where Monet painted some of his works.  It was too bad we traveled in the fall, as many of the flowers had already bloomed, but it was still a beautiful place to visit.

In Rouen, we finally found the parking garage near our hotel (I’m still sure I drove the car through a pedestrian only part of the town).  Beep, Beep!  Over the next couple of days, we enjoyed ourselves exploring the city of Rouen.  There is quite a bit of history associated with Rouen, as it is where Joan of Arc was tried and executed in 1431.  There is a beautiful church dedicated in her honor (just off the site where she was burned) which is Nordic in design and is shaped like the upside down hull of a sailing ship.

We had to try one of the confections from one of the shops: Joan of Arcs’ tears.  These are chocolate covered almonds coated in coco powder.  The tears were nicely packaged in a cellophane bag tied with a bow made of ribbon.  We even managed to make them last a few days before we ate the last one.

We also found a Paul’s patisserie, where we purchased pieces of quiche, mozzarella and tomato sandwiches, and rhubarb pastries.

Ok, on day one, I crashed the car, but when we went to the underground parking garage on day two and found the hood of the car had been keyed during the night, that was not my fault.  It also was not my fault on day four when we came out of the museum and found a horizontal split in the windshield.  Fortunately, VISA was very good about taking care off all the issues with their included rental car coverage.  It does pay to use VISA abroad, just make sure to let their security department know before you go on your trip!

Adventures In Food: Author: Kerry Howell

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