Monday, April 23, 2007

Honfleur

The vieux bassin, or old port, in central Honfleur.

Honfleur is a small fishing town on the left bank of the Seine estuary very near where the river flows into the English Channel. Samuel de Champlain left from this small port to establish colonies in Canada, where he founded the city of Québec in 1608.

Another view of the narrow buildings that surround the old port.

The city's known history stretches back to the 11th century. Honfleur was a strategic port in trade and war with England. Today, there are a little over 8,000 Honfleurois living there, although in high tourist season, the place can seem overrun.

Fishing boats tied along the quais.

Since we were there in January, there were very few tourists out and about. And, there were still some fishing boats in the vieux bassin, or old port. I think that these days it's mostly pleasure boats docking there.

Nice parking spot !

There are many interesting and historic sights to see and we walked around a bit. But, as is the nature of road trips, we were back in the car after not too long and heading to our destination for the night : Trouville. By the time we arrived there, it was dark, cold, and raining. We found a hotel near the center of town with little problem and ducked into a small restaurant for a supper of hot moules à la marinière and frites. We finished with a calvados, or apple brandy, a Norman specialty. It was one of those meals that you remember for a long time.

A closer shot of the red boat.

Note : in case you're confused, this is one of many installments in the Road Trip series. This time, it's January 1992 and we're doing the Norman and Breton coasts.

3 comments:

  1. There are still quite a few fishermen's boats. I was there only a few days ago, with loads of people as it was school vacation and the weather was glorious. A very nice place.

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  2. Thanks for the Canadian History Moment! I had no idea that's where Samuel was from.

    I am amazed at how the houses in your pictures resemble the canal houses here in Amsterdam. Very nice.

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  3. Claude, I'm glad there are fishing boats still there.

    Jayne, I'm from Albany, NY, which was a dutch colony, and there some similar narrow buildings there, in the old part of town. The one time I was in Amsterdam, many moons ago, I felt right at home.

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