Sometimes the most unknown cities and towns along an itinerary can hold wonderful surprises. A few years ago, we took a river boat cruise from Paris to Normandy. We chose it because of the wonderful history associated with the itinerary and of course because it was an easy fly in and out of Paris. It was so wonderful in fact that we are scheduled to do it again in 2019.
Now prior to that first trip I had never heard of the town of Honfleur and I didn’t research much about it either. So, when we arrived in port I was understandably overwhelmed by the quaint beauty of this little port town. The harbor was filled with boats, the buildings around the port were brightly colored and it just felt homey. Maybe that sounds a bit corny but the town was something right out of a picture. As a matter of fact, come to find out Honfleur was painted by many famous artists like Boudin and Monet. Certainly, this is a photographer’s mecca!
We took a guided tour of the town and the standout thing to see was of course, the church. I must laugh when I write that because if you knew my husband, you would know that we have been in thousands of churches around the globe. All I can say is, well, It’s his thing. I’m pretty sure we have at least 2 zillion (okay maybe not quite) photos of every church wall, gargoyle, crypt, bell tower……etc. in Europe. So, as I said, of course the highlight for him was…the church. Sainte Catherine’s church, is a bit different from many we’ve visited, ornate in a simple sort of way and certainly not plastered with oodles of ornate gold. Nope, it is simply the largest church in France that has been made from wood and it has a separate bell tower just opposite the church entry, above the bell ringers house. Guests to Honfleur can visit the church for free! Let’s face it, can’t get better than that.
Now if you were an astute reader you know the church was Paul’s thing….so what flipped my lid in Honfleur? I already told you the port setting itself was amazing to look at but there was one thing that really caught my eye. As we were wandering the streets…there it was…in the window of a little shop…. the purse of my dreams. Now I’m not a girly girl, and I typically buy a purse only when the last one is too embarrassing to carry. But this beauty was something I just had to have…and yes, I paid through the nose for it and I didn’t care. And lest you think purses are my thing…guess again (hint, look at the purse). So, there it was, in the window of the little shop in Honfleur, France and I had to have it!
You see, sometimes little stops along the itinerary deliver such wonderful surprises and make the whole trip something you’ll remember. You just never know until you go…. happy travels!