Hope you like stained glass!

Trip Start Jul 23, 2012
Trip End Aug 15, 2012

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Flag of France  , Normandy,
Friday, August 10, 2012

Because you're going to see a TON of it in our slideshow.  Like I mentioned in the previous post, I love good stained glass windows, so I can't control myself from snapping pictures whenever it's staring me in the face.   In Rouen, stained glass stares you in the face-a lot. 
Yesterday, we drove about an hour to the city famous for burning Joan of Arc at the stake in the town center.  Plus, they have a cemetery full of victims of the Black Plague.  This town is not what you'd call "happy-go-lucky".  We had a great time in what we deemed "Mini-Paris" and essentially just wandered up and down the streets, stopping to check out churches, abbeys and museums.  Rouen's Notre Dame Cathedral was painted by several artists, most notably Monet.  The Rouen Fine Arts Museum has one of his cathedral paintings (the others are in Paris at the Orsay?), as well as other lovely Impressionist works.  Let the pictures we took in Rouen tell the story better than I can.  It was the perfect day trip!
Today we spent a leisurely morning, enjoying another fabulous breakfast at our b&b.  We've been spoiled again-eggs cooked to order and homemade crepes!  Sprinkle a little sugar and squeeze a little lemon on top and it's the best breakfast in the universe.  I will fight you if you disagree.  Mark planned out a route that would take us to several Normandy producers of cider and calvados (apple brandy), and we headed out around 11am to partake.  Most of these operations are teeny tiny (housed in a barn or two), and the owners did not seem extremely enthusiastic about hosting random visitors when they would rather be working on making their products.  But they dutifully poured cider, calvados, and jus de pomme (apple juice) for us at each stop.  Needless to say, we did not leave any ciderie empty-handed.  When we didn't like the cider, we bought juice.  When the apple cider wasn't great, we bought pear.  The best stop of the visit was Domaine Dupont, which apparently is the 'classic example' of a French cider.  We had a knowledgeable staff member answer all of Mark's questions about fermentation, distillation, apple varieties, etc.  She was sooo patient, and she poured us just about everything on their list.  The Creme Calvados was to die for-think about Irish Cream, only with a light apple flavor instead of leprechaun.  Then, Monsieur Dupont (the owner) gave us a great little tour of his still and answered more questions.  We posed for a couple of pictures, because why not? 
We wound our way back down to Honfleur, where we packed up our suitcases to get ready for our last destination: Paris!  One last dinner in town (enjoy that food porn!), and we leave tomorrow morning.  Can't believe we have to leave in 5 days...  :(  Not sure how great our next wi-fi will be, but we'll keep you posted!

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