Bonjour Readers! And Happy Birthday Selma!
Today we hit another of the highlights from our recent trip – Rouen, France. If you’re anything like me, before we decided to go there, I am not even sure I had heard of Rouen and I definitely couldn’t point to it on a map. Now I can tell you it is in Northwest France – in Normandy; it was where Joan of Arc was held captive and then burned at the stake; and its “Notre Dame” is the one featured in all the famous paintings by Monet, not Paris’s.
On the less momentous side, it is filled with skinny, quirky, leaning half-timbered buildings, a result of the local limestone being of poor quality, oak being plentiful, and property taxes being based on ground floor square footage only – how quaint are these buildings?!? And, depending on your point of view regarding what is and is not “momentous,” it’s home to some of the best food we have ever eaten! Since Rouen is by the sea, it has the freshest seafood you could hope for; since it’s old-school France, food is cooked with exquisite care in the old-school French tradition (yes, that means COPIOUS amounts of butter); and, since it is nowhere near the tourist destination that is Paris, all of this scrumptiousness can be had for a most reasonable sum.
While both Joan of Arc and Monet spent considerable time in Rouen, there really isn’t too much to see on those fronts. The place where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake is marked by a non-descript (though too tall to fit in frame, so no photo) cross and there is a single Notre Dame painting of Monet’s in the local museum. Overall, the biggest pleasures of Rouen are walking around admiring the buildings, eating, and for those of you who enjoy a good shopping promenade, there are several.
Since I have already written reviews of both the remaining tower from the prison where Joan of Arc was held (lame), and the AMAZING lunch we had at La Petite Auberge (AMAZING), I will not repeat myself here. (If you’d like a blow-by-blow of the 2 3/4 hour-long pleasure-fest that was our lunch at La Petite Auberge, check out my Tripadvisor review.) Suffice it to say, the meal was so good I thought I’d never be able to eat again as all other food would pale in comparison….
Some photos of the places/food/painting described: