Day 6 Les Andelys, France Departure From Les Andelys: 6:30pm (Departure From Rouen was at 7:30am on this day)
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Morning Activities: During breakfast, the ship left Rouen for Les Andelys. The ship’s departure was so quiet that we didn’t even realize we had cast off until we noticed buildings on shore were moving. At 10:00am our program director met everyone in the Lounge to discuss the disembarkation process which would be coming in only two more days. At 11:00am there were two possibilities for an activity - Wheelhouse Tour or a Live Cooking Demonstration. On the Wheelhouse Tour you could go inside the wheelhouse and the captain of the ship showed the use of the instruments and computers to guide the ship. He also gave information about the Seine River. Since the area was so small, only a few guests could go inside at a time. The Live Cooking Demonstration was held in the Lounge. The executive chef and the maitre d’ showed the guests how to prepare Tarte au Citron, a French favorite. Tasty samples were available at the end of the demonstration. During lunch the ship arrived in Les Andelys for the afternoon.
Afternoon Excursions: The optional tour was a guided coach tour to a castle (chateau) hollowed out of the chalk cliffs and to the village below, La Roche-Guyon. The castle was built in the 12th century and served as German Field Marshall Rommel’s headquarters during WWII. The castle caverns were used as barracks for Rommel’s troops. The village is located at the foot of the chateau on the banks of the Seine River. The narrow streets are lined with picturesque houses and in the village center the old town hall and market, along with the 15th century church built by the English, are interesting places to visit.
The included tour was a walking tour to Chateau Gaillard, a medieval military masterpiece built in late 12th century for Richard the Lionhearted on cliffs overlooking the Seine River and the village of Les Andelys. The fortress was to guard his Norman possessions and the nearby Norman capital of Rouen. Although there are only ruins there today, the tour of the exterior shows how mighty the fortress once was and also gives a sweeping view of the Seine River and valley below. Les Andelys was formerly two villages, Le Grand Andely and Le Petit Andely, but eventually the two merged into one village. We started the walking tour with a local guide but after a very short distance realized that the road to the top was too steep for us and had to come back down. Instead we explored the section of Les Andelys , Le Petit, which is closer to the river. The Le Petit is not very big, but during our walk along the narrow streets, we saw half-timbered houses and shops as well as a very old church, Eglise Saint-Savier, which was started in 1198 and finished in 1202. It was constructed for the workers who were building the Chateau Gaillard. The church is a Greek cross structure with an elegant spire. At the entrance of the church is the blessing Christ. The walk along the Seine where the ship was docked was very beautiful with many styles of houses and, of great interest to me, doors – very old and each one different.
The following pictures are of fascinating old doors seen as we walked along the Seine River in Les Andelys:
French Teatime: After touring the village, we were back in time for the special afternoon tea which included not only tea and coffee but a variety of French pastries and little sandwiches. There were so many delicious looking pastries to choose from that it was very difficult to decide which to pick.
Farewell Dinner: Shortly before dinner, the Kadlin left Les Andelys for its next stop and the captain hosted a cocktail party for a farewell toast to celebrate the journey we had been on. The chef prepared a special farewell dinner menu for us to enjoy as we celebrated wonderful memories and newfound friends. The chef out did himself with this meal, although all the meals had been wonderful. It was very fancy and very French!
Evening Entertainment: It was called Dance with a Chance because it was game night with music and dancing.