Rented a car, drove on the extremely expensive toll ways, lunch around the old harbor in Honfleur, Eglise St. Catherine, gardens and beach, toured town
24.05.2007 - 24.05.2007 26 °C
It all started at 8 am with my trusty LL Bean alarm clock blaring cacophonious tones to get up. Megan drug her body out of bed in time to catch breakfast and be out the door by 10:00 am.
We headed for the train station which was just down the street from our hotel. We looked like a couple of American tourists with all of our worldly posessions in tow. I had the green monster duffle bag stacked on top of the blue beast roller bag. I also had my back pack on. Megan and her red rooster roller bag along with her Veira Bradley Elephant backpack. Everyone says, "Travel light in Europe." We looked like the Clinton's leaving the White house.
At this point, we were getting pretty good at deciphering which train to take. Paris' train numbering system needs to take a lesson from London. Bali, what the hell is Bali? Never did figure that one out. However, once we got to Gare du Nord train station, all of our travel savy flew out the window. Just trying to find the rental car counter was an ordeal. After multiple stairs cases, escalators, map consultations, and bickering, we finally made it to the National Rental Car counter. Phew, cuz my shoulder was about to give in to the green monster.
The rental car process was pretty easy. We followed two guys across the street and down an elevator to our car. A monstorous Hyundai Getz. Think Mini Cooper with less style was waiting for us. Our bags filled up the entire trunk and back seat but they fit.
Off we went onto the wild streets of Paris. We were good for about the first .2 km. Then we got into a traffic jam. We were on a two lane road from which it appeared turning left was allowed from both lanes. Apparently, that wasn't the case. There we were, in the middle of two Frenchies yelling at us and the other cars blocking us, so we couldn't move. It wasn't a one way street. Still not sure how we managed to get into that situation, I had to drive around one car on the curb and back up to avoid a car pulling out of a parking garage, and then on to the stop light. Megan said something like, "It'll take them 25 minutes to sort that mess out." Off we sped in our Hyundai.
The trip to Honfleur was uneventful. Megan slept and I drove. Nothing unusual... except for the tolls. The French seem to be proud of their tollways because they sure charge for them. We burned through almost 20 Euro to go 200 km. I'm not a fan. I thought Chicago tolls were high.
Honfleur is a very artsy lazy seaside town with a quaint down town centered around a small harbor. We checked into our hotel and headed out to tour the town.
After lunch, we walked through the gardens and down to the beach. Honfluerians like thir dogs. Every 9th or 10th persone we saw had one or two. At the beach, we didn't swim, just sat on the seawall and people/dog watched. Then it was back through town to our hotel. Along the way, we stopped at a number of shops and at the Elisa St. Catherine church. A wooden church that is 500 years old.
Our last pit stop before the hotel was a local grocery store. We scored a 6 pack of 1664 beer for 4.30 Euro. What a deal! I couldn't wait to suck a couple down back in the room. Megan was less enthusiastic but went along with my plan.
After a couple of beers and a nap, we headed back to town. This time by car. We drove up the hill behind the motel to check out a couple of the neigborhoods and vantage points. Very nice. Along the way we drove through several residential areas full of recently built houses. Hard to categorize other than small and not very architecturally stunning.
Dinner was at a great place recommended by the travel book. One of my courses consisted of Froie Gras. I'm not a fan.
In between each course, the waitress brought out some small "appetizer type thingy". Each time it was something different, but just as I was ready for my apple tart, she laid down a salad with brie cheese on it. Not realizing what it was, I looked at Megan and said - "this doesn't look like apple tart". I then realized it was appetizer number "3".....dessert was next.
Megan proclaimed this as the best meal of our trip. I proclaimed it the most expensive. Tomorrow, we're having hotdogs and french fries!