Honfleur, France (Laura)
The third port of call on our cruise was the port city Le Havre, where Celebrity wants you to pay 300 euros for an excursion that involves riding a bus 2.5 hours (each way!) to Paris. Obviously this leaves you only three hours to actually “enjoy” Paris on their whirlwind tour, which we imagine would leave the traveler with a bad case of sightseeing “blueballs.” Mike and Mitch spent enough time with that malady in high school to want to go through it again so we opted to hop on a city bus and make our way to a nearby French village called Honfleur. Lindsay had done all the research and this was supposed to be a much more sane thing to do in the ten hours we had.
Well, merci beaucoup, Lindsay! This little French village is an absolute gem and was just a 25 minute bus ride from Le Havre. I don’t have to describe it much because you can see from the pictures the gorgeous harbor, colorful buildings, and quaint streets. What you can’t see from the pictures is this:
– jolly French man who started blasting “Call me maybe” on his fishing boat and dancing for us as we walked by
– the smell of the sea mixed with fresh pastries, espresso, and cheese.
– the four of us saying “bonjour” to everyone we walked by and being giddy with excitement every time they’d respond back.
– the overwhelming feeling of climactic joy we all had being there, leading to our decision to refer to a particularly good sexual climax as a honfleur. (Sorry to the parents reading this)
The day was a monument to hedonism. We began with an espresso by the harbor, a walk through the winding streets and open air food market, a visit to the old wooden church of st. Catherine, and then a long walk to the city’s park walk and coast. We then decided to go back to the market and buy food for a picnic later. We wandered the stalls and tried samples before making our selections: a stinky “bleu” cheese and hard cheese from Sergio, a sausage made from rabbit, whole grain French loaf, apples and dried fruit, olives, biscotti, and to wash it down a cider typical to the region.
With vittles packed and spirits high, we hiked up through the city streets and climbed a big lush hill that ended in a spectacular view of the village and river seine below. From here we visited one more church and then settled down in front of the view to enjoy our picnic. It doesn’t get much better than that.
The day winded down with a few last exhibitions of hedonism, including a hot chocolate with whipped cream while waiting for the bus, and back on the ship a hot tub session WITH FOOT RUBS for Mike and I before heading to dinner….Yes we still ate dinner after all that.
But everybody needs a honfleur sometimes.