I was seriously giddy when we drove into the town of Honfleur. Oh my gosh, it is simply gorgeous! Hubs wasn't too keen on my excitement since I am his navigator and my job was to get us safely to a parking lot. For every "look at that," he'd ask, "which way now?" -- a fairly common exchange between us when we drive into any new town!
Nonetheless, Honfleur is worthy of anyone's fervent attention. One of the best preserved ports in Normandy, France, Honfleur is nearly picture-perfect. The only thing it lacks is a beach. It's easy to see why it has such an artistic past. It's fame is owed mostly to Eugene Boudin, the forerunner of Impressionism. He was born and worked in Honfleur. It was here that the 18-year-old Monet, and many other up-and-coming artists from Paris, came to study under Boudin.
Fortunately for us today, Honfleur escaped the bombs of WWII and is a beautiful place to spend a day or weekend.
How do you get to Honfleur? Coming from Paris, I have found driving to be the best option. Be sure to spend a little extra for a GPS -- navigating the French motorways can be quite intimidating and confusing! It will take you about 2.25 hours to reach Honfleur. Once you arrive in town, foolow the blue "P" signs for public parking. On my last visit, parking costs €2 per hour.
What will you see? You will feel like you're stepping back in time amongst the cobblestoned streets, crooked buildings and old churches. The old port is surrounded by colorful slate-fronted houses and galleries and cafes in converted salt stores. The harbor, historically a launch point for sailors heading to the New World, is filled with sail boats.
The picture-perfect town of Honfleur is not only a painter's paradise, it is this amateur photographer's dream!
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