I am a morning person and wanting to get a good start to the day, I set off in search of a French version of Canada’s Denny’s. Being a Saturday morning, the French are slow to wake up and I couldn’t find some breakfast food containing protein. Next option, the French version of Timmy’s. Ha! Ha! I already knew there were no large cups of coffee to be found much less a refill. Looking for coffee, I stumbled upon the Saturday morning market and discovered a great many of the French people were up purchasing their weekly needs at the market.
There was a wonderful array of fresh flowers, meat and fish, pasta and paella and a flea market offering a wide array of clothing, pictures, paintings and many hand made items. I had remind myself that although there were many temptations, I was traveling light and thus was able to have the experience of appreciation of the many fine objects offered for sale.
It was approaching the noon hour and the cafes and brasseries were opening their doors. I had a quick bite. It was threatening to rain so I made a detour back to the hotel to pick up my jacket. Heading for the hotel I took the street which has the city belfry and great clock.
After picking up my jacket, I did a tour of The Donjon, Joan of Arc Tower. This keep was part of a castle built by Philippe Auguste in 1204. The keep was where Joan of Arc’s trial and torture took place. There were 121 steps to climb with three floors. The first and second floors had Joan of Arc pictures, busts and bronzes. The top floor you could see the corbelled framework that completes the tower. This was the best value of the day as admission was only 1.50 Euros.
A picture of Joan of Arc receiving her last communion before execution. Joan received communion with great humility, great devoutness and a multitude of tears. Communion was administered by Martin Ladvenu a Dominican friar who remained with Joan of Arc till her death.
It was after 2 pm and I still had the two museums on my “to do” list. The museum of Fine Arts was closer and was where I spent the remainder of the afternoon until I was ushered out with the closing of the doors at 6 pm. What a wonderful way to spend an afternoon! Lost in centuries of paintings, drawings, sculptures, furniture and other “objets d’art”. The one painting that gave me pause was by Alfred Agache (1843 – 1915) entitled “Enigme”.
Two days in Rouen and I only covered the “Old Town” and even then did not complete everything on my “to do” list. I have several hours Sunday morning to squeeze in a few more highlights before catching the train to Mont St. Michel.