HONFLEUR, FRANCE
«MAY 2015»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw


 
In May 2015 the holiday destination focussed on France. I am not a great fan of the French, I always run into frustrations and irritating inefficiencies, but it was a result of deduction and there are worse problems...
First stop was Honfleur, on the Normandy coast. I'd heard nice things about this tourist town.

Actually I did not like it so much, as with other towns overrun by tourists it has a one-sided development. But our B&B was of great comfort (we stayed two nights) and we walked the few streets with historic houses.
And the history is of interest: the first written record of Honfleur is a reference by Richard III, Duke of Normandy,
in 1027.
Also its houses, with slate-covered frontages, were painted many times by artists, including in particular Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Claude Monet and Johan Jongkind. They formed the École de Honfleur ('Honfleur school') and contributed to the appearance of the Impressionist movement.

I hope you enjoy my take on the usual and not so usual side of Honfleur.

Honfleur 2015

Honfleur 2015
Away from the harbour the streets get quiet, thank goodness.

Honfleur 2015
Further below this page more on the historic streets.


 

 

Honfleur 2015
The main focus for all tourists is the picturesque port. And indeed this is a nice centre of town, but
it is all about restaurants and souvenir shops plus an odd art gallery (paintings, sculptures).

Honfleur 2015
Among these shops I had the worst pizza possible, it had no taste at all. You get that with a constant flow of tourists.

 


 

Honfleur, France 2015
Near our B&B was this nice church: St. Leonard’s Church (Église Saint-Léonard), with a
flamboyant 16th century Gothic style façade; the rest of the building was rebuilt in the 17th-18th
centuries, which explains the unusual form of the bell tower.

Honfleur, France 2015

Honfleur, France 2015

Honfleur, France 2015

 


 

Honfleur, France 2015
We had booked two nights with La Maison de Honfleur and we very pleased with this exquisite room.
And I was particularly pleased to find a wonderful collection of books, esspecially the books on photography!
Truly a wonderful stay.

Honfleur, France 2015
Breakfasted included a choice of cheeses and found Pave d'Auge from a nearby town.
When we returned from 'walk about', I noticed a fresh supply had been bought.


 

Honfleur, France 2015

Honfleur, France 2015
I always find myself in an irritating mood when looking for lunch or dinner in France; there is an abundance
of full meal ('gourmand') possibilities but very little available for a simple sandwich on all hours of the day.
It often resulted in pizza or pancakes for us.
Note the Saint-Etienne church (b.1369), next to the restaurant, it is the oldest church in town. Now a naval museum.

Honfleur, France 2015

Honfleur, France 2015
I noticed the sign above: Alphonse Allais, écrivain humoriste, 1854 - 1905.
With the Charlie Hebdo and other cartoonists under threat by Islam fanatics and terrorists
these days, I wondered if Monsieur Allais ever faced such threats in his time.
Fortunately there is Wikipedia: "Alphonse Allais (20Oct1854 – 28Oct1905) was a French
writer and humorist born in Honfleur, Calvados. Honfleur has a street (Rue Alphonse Allais)
and a school (Collège Alphonse Allais) named for him."
I don't think Monsieur Allais' humor or poetry brought him death threats. We live in sad times.

 


 

Honfleur, France 2015
The Sainte-Catherine church has a bell tower (above) separate from the
principal building (below) and it is the largest church made out of wood in France.

Honfleur, France 2015
During the late 15th century, the inhabitants built Sainte Catherine’s church, an extraordinary wooden edifice, to replace an earlier stone building, destroyed during the Hundred Years War. They used their ship-building skills
to build the church with wood taken from the Forest of Touques. It was listed as a historical monument in
1879, and has drawn the attention of many archaeologists and historians.
From: http://en.ot-honfleur.fr/discover-honfleur/heritage/sainte-catherine/


 

Honfleur, France 2015
I passed this wonderful shop, 'Agora Gallerie', and had a peek & inquiry for the prices of the vintage plane models.
Alas, it was not in my budget this time, but perhaps next time!

Honfleur, France 2015
In the 'Agora Gallery' were these photos on display: "Don Grego, petite-photographe'.
The photographer showed a wonderful eye for the usual things we take for granted, but depicted here with impact.


 

NOT WHAT IT SEEMS..
Honfleur, France 2015
It looks like an eye, but look closer: it is a compilation of many, many photos of a different part of anatomy...
The original was immense and showed both eyes. The reflection of the shopwindow spoils a bit, but it was too good to pass!

Honfleur, France 2015
A house is being renovated but at a distance one is fooled by the painted canvas. Nice work.


 

Honfleur, France 2015
Streets of Honfleur, away from the maddening crowds.

Honfleur, France 2015
War monument.

Honfleur, France 2015

Honfleur, France 2015

Read below text on the butchers' stalls of which the above one shown is the only one surviving, dating from 17th century.

Honfleur, France 2015
The Saint-Etienne church mentioned in this text can be found harbour-side, partially shown on one of the previous photos.

Honfleur, France 2015

 




 

La Forge, Honfleur
Noticed during our 'walk about': La Forge. Unfortunately it was closed, as are so many facilities
in France during mid-day. Everybody out to their lunch.
But I managed a peek across the gate:

La Forge, Honfleur
An interesting center of creativity & art.


 

LINKS of the various pages reporting on this trip
FRANCE 2015
HONFLEUR
RENNES
LOIRE CHATEAUX
ORADOUR-SUR-GLANE