Visiting the Honfleur Harbor in Normandy France
Honfleur and LeHarve hug the coast of France at the tidal estuary of the Seine. Honfleur, as is often noted, is indeed quaint and picturesque, and to visit it to appreicate what drew artists like Monet and Boudin here. There is a lovely Boudin museum in town featuring quite a bit of his work, plus that of his pre-Impressionist contemporaries. There are also exhibits of contemporary Norman artists. (While the art is the highlight, the women’s bonnets ehibit in the ethnography room is quite charming and unusual. Indeed, the wonders of travel include that of discovery, what one may find around another corner.
Along the old harbor, narrow houses from the 16th and 18th centuries, of different sizes and shapes, squeeze together. It is one of the more picturesque scenes in Europe. At one end the 17th century La Lieutenance draws the eye; it’s something from a painting, an odd building, once serving as a residence, and part of the town wall. The old cobblestone and narrow streets make this a charming walking town, full of interesting shops.
A few blocks away is the unusual and unique St. Catherine’s Church, constructed in the 15th century by shipbuilders completely of wood, the largest such structure in France. On market day the streets are filled with retailers and food vendors of all types, from mattresses to cheese, sausages and paella.
Honfleur’s artistic heritage is preserved in the number of galleries all about town.
There is also a museum that is a musical and visual tribute to Erik Satie, who was born here. For those who appreciate the good old days, the museum of old Honfluer offers nine rooms completely reconstructed as ancient interiors of a bygone time with authentic objects.
Normandy is famous for its apple products, including ciders, juice and calvados. Caramels appear to be popular, and Pont l’Eveque is the locally made cheese worth a try.