Thursday, November 3, 2011

Trip to Normandy - Day 1

After more than two months here in Paris, we decided to go for a trip. After all, we just live in the boring-in the middle of nowhere - right? 
Grandma got on the train, going back to Italy and to the other nephew (the one who doesn't walk, doesn't run and doesn't protest!). We went to our rental car:  excellent prices but, OMG, the pick up was at the Gare de Lyon, in the lower level: I never smelled such an awful smell of urine in my whole life!!!! Disgusting.
Hopefully the service was quick so we were out in a few minutes.  We booked a Fiat 500, red just in case we end up buying one in LA,  but unfortunately they ran out of it, so we took a Peugeot 308.

Fiat 500

Peugeot 380
 Too bad.

We went North, directed towards Rouen. But we stopped before. In fact we discovered (such ignorants!!!) that the second most visited site in Normandy is Giverny, at 1 hr drive from Paris.  It's where Claude Monet lived, in the famous pink house, surrounded by his beautiful garden. We were able, despite the bad weather, to see some water lilies and nimpheas and to walk on his garden bridges. 
The poor guy was almost broke, he couldn't afford living in Paris with his eight children he decided to move out, in the country. Well, if you look at the house you wonder: "What if he was rich?". I mean, this place is immense...

Then we headed towards Rouen. The Cathedral of course. The biggest surprise was the Gros Horloge Museum: extraordinary, detailed and well preserved. Looking around I felt I was in a comic book, Asterix and Obelix precisely, with all these wood/stone houses.

Finally, at night, we went to Etretat to see the falaises. Despite being dark, the panorama from the beach was great. Josh convinced us to walk to the top. We agreed but I wish we didn't: the walk is about 20 min long, but that's not the problem. There's no fence and it was windy. At the very top I sat down on the rock and I refused to move forward. Too high.

We reserved a room in a beautiful house, in Genneville. The owners, Daniel Neel and his wife, are excellent hosts. The room was splendid and clean, warm and cozy. The next morning we had breakfast with other guest, tasting their home made "confitures". 

Here is the link: Daniel Neel 

One last word about the GPS: it's an excellent and useful device when it works but why it doesn't tell when you miss the target or you head towards the wrong direction? I mean, it just recalculates the new trajectory and with the same monotone voice keeps telling you the new street. Josh had an idea: a GPS that, when you get the wrong direction, starts screaming and yelling at you: "Hey dude, what the heck are you doing? Idiot, you missed the road! ". Imagine if, after 3 times you miss the road, it tells you: "You are too damn stupid, I just quit. From now on, it's up to you!". I bet a lot of people would have fun with it and would have it installed! At least it's a reaction!

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