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Travelogue: Honfleur

11.09.2014
Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur
Honfleur

When I asked locals about their recommendations for day trips out of Paris, their lists always included Honfleur, the maritime city in Normandy (just two hours north of Paris) known for being one of the principle birthplaces of Impressionism. And you can visit much of the medieval city in a single weekend, or less.

So during my sons’ Fall break, my family drove up on a Saturday morning and arrived in time to walk through the colorful weekly market, under a light rain that shifted into a sheet of pale grey clouds that eventually collapsed into soft blue skies. It’s commonly said that the region’s magical changing light highly influenced many great painters, particularly Arthur Bodin (the friend and tutor of a young Monet); it was this luminous light that invited them to step out of the formal indoor painting style and instead head outdoors.

Particularly picturesque is Le Vieux Bassin, the old port in the center of town lined with tall narrow houses decorated with restaurants, art galleries/ateliers and local specialty shops. From there, you can stroll along tiny cobbled streets of beautifully jumbled together timber-framed homes, typical of Normandy’s architecture. Bring along a good appetite as shops invite you to taste their overflowing array of local specialties like cheese, biscuits, jams, Calvados (apple brandy) and apple cider.

Needless to say Honfleur is very popular and fairly busy, especially during the summer months - but well worth a visit and revisit :)

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18 comments

  1. So charming! I have heard of Honfleur but never visited but after looking at your pictures I have to put it on my list . Even your son seemed to have enjoyed the trip and sightseeing.

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  2. What a charming village! I'd love to visit there. Perhaps someday. Your photos really call to me, so pretty.

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  3. How quaint and inviting. I'd love to get lost in those narrow cobbled streets. (Or sit and watch people go by at an outdoor cafe.) I think you may have a budding photographer in your family!

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  4. Truly lovely. I'd like to visit one day and enjoy the sights that inspired Bodin and Monet. The son is cute.

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  5. What a pretty place! And I love that last shot.

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  6. we spent a lovely week exploring the normandy region of france, and honfleur was one of my favorites. it reminded me so much of holland. thanks for bringing those memories up!
    b

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  7. On my wish list! Your images make me really want to visit! We had planned to go there in September but ended up spending all of our Normandy time at the D-Day beaches. Maybe next trip!

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  8. i've never been there but, thanks to you pictures, it's in my wish list now! the first one is my favorite! and the last one!! :)

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  9. oh so beautiful and i bet the light is amazing. it makes me want to jump on a jet and fly over immediately. it is my dream to someday visit Paris and surrounding areas. Someday i will! Thank you for showing us such a lovely part of dreamy France :) Oh and your son is just adorable with his little camera too lol

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  10. A great contribution to the "Wednesday-theme".
    My post at: http://hanshb.wordpress.com/

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  11. oh my! these images, particularly the waterfront and the market, remind me so much of our visit to La Rochelle on the west coast about 9 years ago. We were there with French friends, and they bought food from the market and we sat down on the waterfront and had the most wonderful picnic I have ever had. We even had tourists taking photos of us! I loved the image of your little boy with the camera, it reminds me so much of my grandsons when we travel with them. Thank you for another trip to France with you. Have a wonderful week.

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  12. Beautiful images! So romantic.

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  13. Thank you all for your very kind comments! :) xo

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  14. Thank you for taking us along! I would love to eat in all those cafes!

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  15. Day trips are such fun and this one looks like it was a fun trip, Catherine. Your son seems to be getting into the spirit of photography as well, so maybe we will be seeing some of his photos in future posts?

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