"" Writer's Wanderings: A Favorite River Stop in France - Ville des Andelys

Monday, August 06, 2018

A Favorite River Stop in France - Ville des Andelys

[This was one of the most picturesque stops on our French River cruise back in 2009.]

What a treat to awaken one morning along the Seine and find ourselves in the middle of a Monet painting. The sun was lazily making its way up into the sky and a haze lay over the countryside creating the romantically mysterious sense of picturesque landscape that Monet and other Impressionists often captured in their work.

The little town of Ville des Andelys included a delightful morning excursion climb to the top of a ridge containing the remains of a fortress. It once belonged to Richard the Lionhearted. Not a lot of the stone fortress is left standing, but the view from the top was so very worth the climb.

Our timing was perfect. As we finished snapping the last of our pictures, a low hanging cloud engulfed us and shrouded the view. We headed down once again to the little town and began to explore.

A large square marked the center where a church faced out on one side. At one end of town was a large hospital. As I walked toward it, I found myself at a Y in the road with a bakery at the point of the intersection. A few doors down and across the street was another bakery (the French love their baguettes, croissants, brioche, and pastries). As I passed between the two shops I stopped and inhaled deeply. The smell of fresh baked yeasty bread hung there between the two bakeries. I forced myself to move on.

As we traveled along in Normandy, there were large clumps of what at first appeared to be squirrel nests in the trees like we have at home. We discovered, they were not squirrel nests but rather a parasite growing in the trees—mistletoe! Well, no wonder the French are so fond of kissing in their greetings. They’ve been wandering under the mistletoe!

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