Sunday, 3 June 2012

Rouen & Joan of Arc

Today is the six hundredth anniversary of the birth of Joan of Arc, and Rouen is celebrating their famous saviour. Although I am not convinced that "Joan of Arc would immediately recognise the centre of Rouen  as the town she liberated" as they claim, it certainly has some beautiful medieval buildings remaining in the town. We had a lovely sunny stroll around town with a quick visit into the Cathedral, where a commemation service had just completed. The Cathedral itself is under a lot of wraps as it is being renovated - there is substantial damage to the stone work, particularly the statues. But the inside was beautiful and serene.

 We spent a couple of hours chilling at a nice outdoor bar with 'pastis' all round, followed by one of the most awesome beers I've had in a long time . "Rebelle" was the name - keep a look out for it ! Of course, a celebration of Joan's life wouldnt be complete without live music, so we had our chilling accompanied by a local band (I think! the name wasnt very local) - El Gran Chufo.

This is apparently one of the oldest, if not the oldest Inn in France : dinner however was had at "la Maupassant" next door, accompanied by appropriate extracts of Guy de Maupassant's short stories. I still have strong memories of his description of 'la bourgeousie' with her sausage fingers and various other edible body parts - no wonder he declared that gastronomy was the only truely acceptable vice!

 An awesome clock in the centre of town, just before finding a taxi back to the campsite ....Did I mention, I took a bus?? That's twice in one year!

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