Azamara Journey - Day 9 - Honfleur, France

Published by: Anne Plau

Honfleur welcomes us in the early morning with a beautiful sunrise. Directly behind the Pont de Normandie, one of the longest bridges in Europe, which spans the delta of the Seine, the sky turns red. It will be a warm clear day again.

Pont de Normandie at sunrise

Pont de Normandie at sunrise


A place out of a picture book

We dock on the Quai de Seine, a good one kilometer from the center of Honfleur. A shuttle bus takes us there. Honfleur is a place out of a picture book. Even from the bus we can see the houses from the Middle Ages and the colorful boats in the harbor. There are flowers and flowering shrubs everywhere in the village: on the houses, in beds by the roadside and in the squares. The city is full of people, with almost two million guests visiting Honfleur every year.

Everything about the sights can be found in below Cruise Destinations / Honfleur.

Walk through the old quarters

We walk around the Vieux Bassin, the old harbor basin: past the Lieutenance, a part of the former fortification where the governor used to live; via the Quai Sainte Catherine with the old half-timbered houses and the Quai Saint Etienne to the ancient carousel in front of the town hall.

The Vieux Bassin Quai Quarantine Honfleurs Town Hall fishing boats

 

Then we walk through the Faubourg Saint Léonard. The center of this district is the beautiful old church. In addition, steps lead to the Claire brook and a washing area that existed in the Middle Ages and has been restored.

Behind the Lieutenance is the square with the Sainte Catherine church. It is Saturday. Market stalls are set up around the church. It's not just tourists who come here, the residents of Honfleur and the surrounding area go shopping. The two-aisled church of Sainte Catherine is the largest wooden church in France. The ceiling construction looks like two upturned boats have been used as a roof. Beautiful colored stained glass windows, intricate carvings and lush floral decorations can be admired in the interior of Sainte Catherine. A church worth seeing.

Sainte Catherine wooden church Sainte Catherine wooden church - chancel

 

Discover Honfleur with the Petit Train

At 11:30am we do a round trip with the Petit Train. It's a small train that runs regularly through the town and to nearby attractions. A tour lasts 40 minutes. It leads through Honfleur, along the dike to the Plage du Butin beach, then past the former artists' colony Ferme Saint-Siméon to the Notre Dame de Grâce chapel. There is a break before going back to the port. We visit the chapel and admire the carillon, which stands next to the chapel and whose bells ring every hour on the hour. The view from the vantage point in front of the chapel of the Seine, the Pont de Normandie and the Azamara Journey is stunning.

At lunchtime we take the shuttle bus back to the Quai de Seine. We have a bite to eat on the terrace of the buffet restaurant. It has proven useful to divide the daily program. We can freshen up and eat something delicious.

Picturesque Honfleur - also away from the center

In the afternoon we take another walk along the harbor. Two river cruise ships are moored in the Bassin de l'Est. There are now fewer people out and about than in the morning, and it is quieter in the cafes and restaurants. We like that much better. The drawbridge that regulates the entry into the old port of Honfleur allows a sailor to pass. Honfleur is a very picturesque place indeed.

The Lieutenancy

The Lieutenancy


Behind the old Saint Etienne church with the marine museum, we reach the former salt storage facility via a narrow corridor. The tall, spacious warehouses from the Middle Ages still smell a little of salt.

Quai Saint Etienne Former salt store

 

Then we walk along the harbor and through the city park to the butterfly garden Naturospace. At the place with the old lighthouse we turn to the Maison Satie. We continue up the stairs to the Eugène Boudin Museum. Here, in the alleys above the center, there are many art studios and galleries, but also manufactories for regional products from salt to cider to cosmetics. We take a leisurely look at these pretty shops on the way back to the shuttle bus.

Le Phare de l'Hopital One of many galleries Rue du Puits A place like from another time

 

Enjoy on board the Azamara Journey

In the evening we eat in the buffet restaurant, there are French specialties. We eat outside on the terrace. The weather is just too nice to be inside.

The departure of the Azamara Journey is also delayed today. This time no guests are missing, we have to wait for the tide. The fellow travelers who missed the ship yesterday in Ostend got on board again today.

Continue reading: Day 10 - Greenwich / London