Awaken To Hornfleur in Normandy

Bonjour mes amis,

I’m concentrating on Normandy sights for your French travel this time, so let me take you to the beautiful village of Hornfleur. Two hundred kilometres from Paris (Gare St Lazare) to Deauville or Lisieux or Pont l’Eveque then a short bus connection and you’re there!

In Hornfleur there is plenty to see and do here. With a vast array of seafood and cider, Hornfleur offers wonderful cuisine and culture, beside the seaside. You don’t have to have sea legs to love this place.

My french awakening found this port side village filled with lovely experiences on and off the water. You’ll be singing ” Well I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside” (as my mother used to sing ) in absolutely no time at all!

Gelato and grey coloured buildings border the mariner and walking promenade in Hornfleur. The air is tangy fresh with salt and there is a distinct feeling of holiday mode even among the locals who remain very casually French and friendly. You will unwind believe me…

Wander around the mariner and dock in the Old Harbour (Vieux Bassin) filled with local fishing boats- some licked with a new coat of paint and others crackling with a siding of barnacles and old age. Brown faced fishermen haul their nets filled with the days catch towards the many restaurant owners and gathering tourists, so proud of their fishy display.

Enter any of the port side restaurants off cobbled lanes and if you’re lucky enough to go in October, you’ll experience Hornfleur’s famous Shrimp (or Prawn) Festival. Shrimp up to your eyeballs washed down with cider now there’s a treat. Or maybe you fancy a little fish as I did…

You may be seduced by the Fish festival or even the Mussel Festival for that matter and how about the Blessing of The Sea? or the Jazz Festival if you’d rather music with you’re seafood? Hmmm it’s all so good.

The Fete des Marins or Mariners Festival is Hornfleur’s day of remembering all Lost Seamen. It takes place in the Church of St Catherine, high up at the top of the town and the locals promise that St Catherines is the largest wooden church in France. On that day, the towns wooden miniature boat is hauled up through the town to its steps. Even those who have had their ashes scattered out to sea are prayed for as well.

There’s something for all here.

In fact, the day we arrived a wonderful mardi gras procession of very cute littlies totted through the streets- all dressed up in a concoction of fur and tinsel and sporting headpieces which included masks and witches hats and even an antenna or two here and there. Bobbly bits from costumes sprung in all directions and flashed passed us in sheer joy! The entire fantastical regiment were celebrating the beginning of their Easter holiday break. We hadn’t been in Hornfleur for an hour before we were covered in gorgeous confetti. I liked Hornfleur in an instant!

Come take a look or why not join the procession?…

Even the Hornfleur teachers got into the swing of Mardi Gras…

For further details on festivals and other events, check out the Hornfleur Tourist Office at:

http://www.ot-honfleur.fr/

So you see, when you’re next in France, head for Normandy and don’t think of giving Hornfleur a miss. It even inspired famous artists such as Monet, Courbet, Boudin and even William Turner with their nautical Hornfleur themes and play with light. But you don’t have to be a painter. See it through your own eyes my friends.

It’s a very pretty coastal town. You’ll be invigorated by the air and soothed by its pace. When you’re having a glass of their famous local cider and looking out to sea, I’m certain you’ll agree that Hornfleur was definately worth experiencing.

Au Revoir,

Best Wishes,Therese Waddell

Copyright@ 2010 Therese Waddell

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One Response to “Awaken To Hornfleur in Normandy”

  1. Très magnifique! Honfleur is an area of Normandy I’ve yet to experience, it’s on my wish list! I have been to Barfleur, closer towards Cherbourg. Sadly it was a grey dismal day but we not only did I discover some new wild herbs on the way back, as always lol, but 3 C-130 hercules planes flew over us as we sat at the harbour. They were part of the D-Day 65th birthday celebrations. http://herbal-haven.co.uk/blog/2009/06/d-day-landings-65th-anniversary/

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