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Normandy and the Seine River Cruise


Grand Circle Travel


July 2003


On July 7th, I flew to Paris and began a memorable

17 day trip to France.  The first day in Paris I had free

time to explore the city.  I visited the area along the left bank

and on up to the Eiffel Tower.  I also decided to take a River cruise to see the sights from the Seine.



Greetings from the Eiffel Tower and welcome to Paris.



The River has many of boats tied up and others cruising up and down.



One of the many cruise boats on the River. 

They cruise all day and into the evening.



A boat load of coal going up stream.



A bride and groom on the right bank for their wedding picture.



The famous Alexandre III Bridge



The River side view of the Louver Museum.



The Notre Dame Cathedral from the Seine River.



The French National Assembly building from the River.


After an overnight stay in Paris, I was bussed with 40 or so other travelers to Cabourg on the North Sea to begin

my visit to Normandy.  The following pictures

illustrate this trip.



The Peace Museum at Caen, our first stop in Normandy. 

The flags are flying on the Esplanade Eisenhower.  Caen was destroyed by Allied bombers and naval artillery shelling prior to and during the landing at Normandy. 

This museum reflects the various aspects of the

Battle of Normandy.




A British Spitfire plane that was shot down over Caen. 

Restored later and placed in the museum.




One of the many World War II exhibits found in the Peace Museum.



The Grand Hotel in Cabourg.  This was our headquarters'

for our visit to Normandy.  It was truly a old grand hotel.



A beautiful day on the North Sea.  The tide is out and the

water is cool but refreshing I am told.



The village of Arromanches on Gold Beach.  This was the

site of one of the two Mulberry artificial harbors built in

England and towed in for the invasion.  The museum was

very small but well done in terms of exhibits.




During a storm in June 1944 several of the parts of the

Mulberry Harbor broke apart and ended up on the beach.



It was a beautiful day on the coast of France.  The Mulberry

harbor enabled tons of supplies to reach the troops at the front.  It also made it possible to supply the army without capturing a heavily protected port.



The American Military Cemetery at Omaha Beach.

This is the memorial to our fallen solders. 

The statue is "The Spirit of the American Youth".



Our group placed a wreath at the base of the statue

in tribute to our fallen American soldiers.



The Chapel at the cemetery.




There are 9400 soldiers buried at this cemetery and each

has a white cross or Star of David marker.



The white crosses for Quentin Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. 

The flag denotes that Theodore Roosevelt, Jr won the Medal of Honor.



The famous Omaha Beach.  As you can see the

cliffs were formidable.



Point Du Hoc.  A German bunker facing Utah beach.




The land at the point was permanently scarred by air and

sea bombardment.  Craters were w everywhere.




Large German bunkers still stood in spite of the

heavy attack on the point.



This is the public toilet at Bayeau.  It was a god sent to our

group early the next morning.  We are in Bayeau to see a large tapestry about William the Conqueror's invasion of England.




A picture perfect spot in Bayeau.



The memorial at the British Military cemetery just outside Bayeau.




The British Military Cemetery.



The Village of Beuvron en Auge.  The mayor met our bus

with a plate of warm cookies as a greeting.  It was a typical

small French village with flowers everywhere.



The Hotel DeVille at Trouville.  This is their city hall.



The harbor at Trouville.




Here is our group lined up to sample the famous apple

cordial made at Chateau du Breuil.  This is the home of

the Calvados Distillery.



Now for the River cruise part of the trip.



The River cruiser Bizet.  My home for the next week. 

 The cruiser was docked at Honfleur on the Seine River.




While the water was cool, it did not stop the local

youngsters from jumping off a nearby bridge.




After our first night aboard the Bizet, we had a walking

tour of Honfleur in the morning.  Here is a local bakery

truck delivering the bread to local restaurants.   Notice

loafs of bread stacked up in rear of the truck.




In the middle of Honfleur was a small harbor for sail boats. 

The town was all around the harbor.




The 15th century Church of Saint Catherine with its wooden bell tower.




The old town hall of Honfleur.



On the second afternoon of our stay in Honfleur, we had a

side excursion to Fecamp with a stop at the famous

Benedictine Distillery.  It was quite a place with many beautiful works of art.  We also got to sample both Benedictine and their B and B.



The entrance to the distillery was really quite ornate




A German bunker guards the coast above Fecamp. 

It with stood the allied shelling.




This is another set of Cliffs for the allied troops to scale to

establish a beach head on Normandy.



As we sailed up the Seine River, we saw a beautiful

sunset behind the bridge over the River.  This photo

was taken by my friend Jay Jayaram.



We over traveled up River overnight to Caudebec, a medieval village on the River. The next morning we had a bus tour to the Benedictine Abbey at Jumieges.  There

were many building that were being renovated at this

7th and 8th century abbey.




The Abbey at St. Wandrille.  This the home to 44 monks who are running several business to survive

including one big gift shop!




Ships of all sizes were sailing on the River.




Sailing into Rouen.




The streets of Rouen were decorated for a July 14th celebration.




The site of the Joan of Arc Museum and memorial in downtown Rouen.



The site of our first lock.  This was also the site of some major battle action during World War II.



Entering the lock.



A tight squeeze but our expert captain was never close to the sides.  The lock gate closed by moving sideways across the lock.



Another picture perfect spot on the Seine River.



The Bizet docked at Les Andlys.



The Chateau Gaillard which was a stronghold built by

Richard the Lion-Hearted in the twelfth century.




The town hall in Vernon.



A memorial to the British Rangers who liberated Vernon.



There were swans everywhere on the River.



We are docked at Van Gogh country, Auvers sur Oise.



One of Van Gogh's statues found in the town.



There were many spots marked where Van Gogh painted. 

The various sites were marked with copies of the painting.



The church that was the subject of the painting.



This is the burial site of Theo and Vincent Van Gogh. 

Dian Miller of our tour group is studying the tomb stones.



Another lock ahead.  We traversed 7 locks in total.



We are sailing into Paris.  This is one of the suburbs.



This is the Millennium Park in Paris we will dock at tomorrow evening.  It will be our last night on the ship.

The large balloon in the rear offers rides to see Paris.



Lady Liberty greeted our return to Paris. 

This was a gift to France by Americans living in Paris.



Here is a shot of our hotel, the tower and the statue of Liberty.  Not bad posing!



As we sailed up the River we were treated to a commentary

about the many bridges over the Seine.  This is a picture of

the Alexandre III Bridge.  It has been renovated recently

and is quite beautiful.



Some bridges had minimal clearance so it was

heads down until we cleared.



Passing by the Musee d'Orsay.



Another low bridge!  Notice the ship's steering cabin.



The end of another perfect day sailing on the Seine River.



The main entrance to the summer Chateau Fontainebleau.



The lake behind Fontainebleau Chateau.




Row boats are ready for a trip on the lake.



Part of the buildings that make up the Chateau.  It was not

uncommon for 3000 people to follow

the King and his court to the chateau.



On Saturday morning, we had a tour of Paris. 

We first stopped at the Jardin du Luxembourg. 

The French Senate is in the background.



Along with the other sights we stopped at the Arc de Triomphe.



Sunday morning, we ventured to Versailles for a morning tour.  What a fabulous Palace.



The various rooms were breath taking in their beauty.



King Louie the XIV ruled the Palace until the French Revolution.



The Hall of Mirrors was beautiful.



                           For me the gardens with their fountains were the best part.























Just beautiful!



There were fountains everywhere you looked. 



All sizes and shapes.



After Versailles it was a trip to the Louver. 

Here is my gal Venus de Milo.



A Michelangelo Statue.



This was the only crowded room in the Louver. 

That is because Mona Lisa in the box on the wall

in the distance.  It was easier to buy the post

cards than take pictures!



The oil paintings were outstanding.



The court yard above the Louver.  The glass pyramid is inverted into the entrance to the museum.



A last Paris picture, the National Opera House

near the Louver.


This was a truly wonderful trip.  The sights were

very interesting and the people on the tour were great

traveling companions.  Normandy was very moving

and had a profound impact on me since remember

the battles occurring from my childhood.  I sold special edition newspapers in Cazenovia on VE day.

The sail up the Seine River was very beautiful. 

So much to see.  And the days in Paris

were just perfect.