The Beauty of Normandy
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Compared with our massive day yesterday, today was quite relaxing aboard Tauck’s ms Sapphire. We’re now over the halfway point on our Rendezvous on the Seine river cruise, the sun is shining, and temperatures are way above seasonal. Life is good.
The curse of a cruise writer is having assignments that are due while you’re on another cruise. There’s nothing quite like writing about a big-ship cruise to the Caribbean while you’re in France, but that was my morning. Of course, I can’t complain: few offices are as nice as the elegant ms Sapphire, and I ensconced myself in the cozy main lounge with my laptop and a delicious cappuccino from the 24-hour coffee station at the stern of the ship. I know it comes from a machine, but it’s still very tasty.
I did manage to make it off the ship this morning for a wander along the sun-splashed streets of Caudebec-en-Caux, France. This quiet village 43 kilometres to the northwest of Rouen has a population of just over 2,000 people, and yet everything you’d want is mere steps away from the ms Sapphire – including half a dozen cafes serving up all manner of food and drink.
This afternoon, I joined the excursion to the nearby Jumieges Abbey. Built around 1067, the Abbey was enlarged and restored over the intervening centuries, until the French Revolution left it in ruins.
Jumieges Abbey has been called one of the most beautiful ruins in France, and it’s easy to see why. Even in its semi-destroyed state, the grandeur of the Abbey can still be seen and felt to this day.