Sunday, October 8, 2017

Seine River Cruise- Part 3 (Normandy and Versailles)

On Tuesday, we did an all day tour of Normandy. Seth loves war history, and this was something high on his list. It is pretty fascinating to see where these important historical events took place. The information from our tour guide was amazing. He was full of knowledge. However, we wished we were more on our own schedule, as we would have liked to have spent more time and seen more. I guess we'll have to return another time! :) 

Arromanches



D-Day Museum


Inside a bunker
how the bunker looks from outside 

American cemetery- every soldier that died has their name on a cross with the hometown and state. It's massive and impactful. A couple on our trip had the name of the wife's great uncle. She was able to locate his cross and place a rose on it. 
They had a ceremony in which they honored veterans, played taps, and had a moment for prayer. 

On Wednesday morning, we arrived in Les Andelys. We hiked up to Chateau Gaillard, built by Richard the Lionhart (Richard 1 of England) in 1197. After the chateau, we walked around this little town and then we were on the ship for the afternoon (it cast off at 3 pm). 


On Thursday morning, we went to Versailles. I had been here before, but it's an amazing palace to see again and again!



Everything is so over the top elaborate!


Hall of Mirrors selfie (man, it was SO crowded!)
Original chandeliers
I love these little angel statues





The gardens went on for days and are immaculate

                                                    Bassin d'Apollon (Apollo Fountain)



Latona Fountain


                           That afternoon, we went to Malmaison Josephine Bonaparte
There are a lot of paintings of Napoleon. He seems like a strange little man!

Billiard room

Josephine
Aren't these some wacky chairs? I kind of like them though. 


After that tour, we had some shopping time in St. Germain en Laye. We just window shopped and I bought some clothes for the kids. I could stare at the butcheries all day long. How nice would it be to walk down the street and have this selection for dinner? 

Of course, Seth found a bakery and bought more eclairs. This dark picture is him enjoying it when we got back on the ship. 


Thursday night, the Wall Street Club had a little cocktail party/farewell dinner

FROG LEGS!


SNAILS! (escargot)

We definitely ate well on this trip! Whew! The food was outstanding! On Friday morning, it was time to depart our amazing Viking ship and head out for the last portion of our vacation: LONDON! :) 








Sunday, September 17, 2017

Seine River Cruise Part 2 (Vernon and Rouen)

On Sunday, we went woke up docked in Vernon, France. A bus took us to Giverny to tour Monet's home and gardens. This is something I have ALWAYS wanted to see!

That's his beautiful home in the background (he bought this in 1883)
 Lots of his paintings displayed on the walls
 I loved the copper pots displayed in the kitchen
 The flowers in the garden were breathtaking



Gardeners trained these branches to form perfect "Ts" to create a fence like border

 Seth and I on the tour
 Water lilies! You can barely make out the famous bridge featured in many of his paintings

 chickens
 We took a short walk to view his grave

When we returned to the ship, we took a nice (read: long and hot) walk with Brenda through Vernon. There wasn't a whole lot to see but we did walk to Chateau de Bizy.
  We didn't tour the inside, but here's an iPhone photo from the visitor area window



 On Monday morning I woke up and did a killer leg workout with another lady on the ship. When we were finished the ship was barely clearing this bridge! We arrived in Rouen that morning.
 We did a walking tour of the city. The original half timbered buildings have the dates built on them


Notre Dame (in Rouen)- it's older and bigger than Notre Dame in Paris. 
Beatiful stairway 
Seth with Saint Thomas
This is where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake (there's a memorial in the town centre)

Astronomical clock built in 14th Century
They had some great shops and Seth actually shopped with me (a rarity)

He *may have* only shopped with me because he loves eclairs. The pastry shops in Europe make my mouth water! Seth bought several eclairs on this trip :) 
Notre Dame does a light show every night at 10 pm on the face of the cathedral
I have never seen anything like this, and I bet that other buildings start doing this. It was AMAZING! 
There were two 15 minute shows - one is about Joan of Arc and the other was the Viking Invasion