M1623 – Hurrying around Honfleur

My last post, M1623 – Bonjour encore!, set the scene for my latest cruise which is to visit French rivers and ports on board the Fred. Olsen ship Braemar.

Our first port of call on this cruise is Honfleur, at the mouth of the River Seine. We sailed in around 10 in the morning, the very next day after we set sail from Southampton. Reaching our first port so soon, without the usual two or three days at sea seemed very strange and a bit of a rush, but is to be expected when the destination is so close to home.

The earliest written record of Honfleur is from 1027, and the port soon grew in importance with it’s strategic position at the mouth of the Seine, but despite fortifications it was captured twice by the English, in 1357 and again in 1419. Later raids were made on the English south coast from Honfleur by the French. Honfleur was an important trading port until the silting up of the harbour entrance, and the development of nearby Le Havre limited it’s trade. In the second world war the port was liberated by British, Belgian and Canadian troops without any combat being required.

As we sailed towards the port the combination of mist and low sunshine made for an atmospheric view:

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By the time we had turned around, backed up to the quay and tied up, and the gangplank prepared it was almost 10:30, and knowing I had to check in for my afternoon ship’s tour at noon, it meant I didn’t have long to go ashore with my camera to capture some views of Honfleur, which I knew to be very attractive. Studying the map before hand, I had decided the town was close enough to walk into rather than needing to catch the shuttle bus, which also meant I could take some photographs on the way:

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Close to the town I passed this Seine river boat – from it’s huge length I think it should have been called In Seine Princess!

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Right by the old harbour was this lovely old fairground roundabout:

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The old harbour was simply stunning, with the colourful old buildings reflected in the still water:

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As usual, despite the rush I was still on the look out for quirky things:

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In the town church I was impressed by this window and by the painted stone walls:

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All to soon it was time to rush back to the ship ahead of the afternoon tour. I couldn’t see any shuttle busses around, so I just stepped it out and got back to the ship with around ten minutes to spare! I’ll describe the afternoon tour in my next post, so keep watching this space.

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