Tuesday, June 17, 2014

HONFLEUR - Normandy, France

June 15, 2014

Honfleur is a key tourist destination in Normandy, with its lovely port, which has inspired so many artists.

"This little maritime city, which has somehow escaped the ravages of time, has managed to preserve the traces of a rich historical past, which make it one of the most visited towns in France, with its picturesque small streets and old houses". 

Its international renown is partly due to the authenticity of its narrow paved streets and timber-framed house-fronts, its little shops, charming hotels and typical restaurants, but also to the variety of its monuments and the wealth of its cultural and artistic heritage."

So it is described in Tourist brochures. In my opinion that isn't quite the truth. It hasn't escaped the ravages of time, because most of the historical buildings are falling apart. In this time of the year when I was there i.e. beginning May, it looked rather sad and neglected. Lots of shops and restaurants were closed.  Maybe during the summer season packed with tourists visiting this little town, it looks better and wakes up. The description was probably true a century ago, but now if I compare it to the other side of the channel in England, I was very disappointed. 

Honfleur, was and is a town of painters and Impressionism. The changing light on the Seine estuary inspired Courbet, Monet, Boudin and many others. Today dozens of galleries and artists' studios continue to display a wide choice of classical and modern paintings, but most of them were closed ! If you want to know a little more about Honfleur you can read it  here

I managed to drive through these little streets, my rearview mirrors almost touching the walls !

A victim of time

Once beautiful architecture

At least I found one souvenir shop open !

A few houses however still looked good, at least from far

The habour was very pittoresque

and despite the out of season time a carousel was turning around for kids. A group of Japanese tourists admired the harbour.


Catherine said...

Thank you for the little tour and beautiful photos! Honfleur is on my to-do list this summer,... looks like such a charming little town. Too bad it isn't bustling year-round. Bravo on driving through those tiny narrow streets :)

Hazel said...

Still looks lovely and charming to me despite the sad bit, but thanks for the info. I love the red painted house.

Katrin Klink said...

So beautiful! And especially the last photo is perfect - a carousel at the seaside!

diane b said...

It sure is a historical town with lovely old and colourful buildings. I love the red windows. Sad that it is not maintained well.

Anonymous said...

I think it looks quite nice. I am sure it would be better in tourist season.

A Lady's Life said...

Such interesting places especially to people like me. We dont have these kind of buildings around here. I dont think our buildings would last that long.

Cynthia said...

A beautiful town and harbor. I love the colors. And you are very clever to drive down that narrow street!

Little Wandering Wren said...

Hi Gattina
Thanks for taking us to Honfleur - mirrors in! Hopefully even if some of the buildings needed some work, the food was amazing. I used to visit here with my Grandparents!
Wren x

carol l mckenna said...

Beautiful photography of a dear village ~ very colorful despite its aging ~ for OWT ~ Happy Week to you ~ xoxo

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Unknown said...

Looks like you had a nice little ride.

Unknown said...

Looks like you had a nice little ride.

Loree said...

It still has lots of charm. Maybe it just needs someone to take care of it a bit better.

Friko said...

I think Honfleur is still very pretty. I don’t mind about the peeling paint, it makes it so very French.

I’ve always loved spending a day or two there on our way South and would love to do it again.

Clooney said...

Lovely photos, find them very charming and yes congrats driving through the very narrow streets!

Linens and Royals said...

Second picture down, I want that little house with the attic. On your next visit please check that it has a bathroom!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

New Zealanders love Normandy. A very historic place for them.


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I love writing, traveling and photography. . I am German, i live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.


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