Paris & Normandy via the Seine
Embarking on an art and culture-rich cruise along the Seine, you are sure to find something that interest you. From medieval or renaissance, bike tours, hikes, or museum tours, you have a wide variety of excursions to experience along the way.
Starting in Paris, a stop at the infamous Du Pain et des Idées is non-negotiable. In a true 19th center Parisian bakery you'll find exceptional breads and viennoiseries (breakfast pastries), made with the best natural ingredients making them no only incredibly tasty, but also healthy. The specialties at Du Pain et des Idées are chocolate-pistachio rolls, fresh apple chanson, orange blossom brioche, traditional flan the the iconic (trademarked) Pain Des Amis. Located on the corner of Rue Yves Toudic and Rue De Marseillen in the 10th arrondissement. Be sure to check their hours, they are closed on weekends.
The dramatic history that is synonymous with Normandy is a must-see during your visit. June 6, 1944, known as D-Day, over 156,000 British and American soldiers arrived via parachutes to Sword, Juno, Gold, Omaha, and Utah beaches. Most of those soldiers were not even 20 years old, hauling 80 pounds of equipment as they bravely took to the rough seas amid constant gunfire until they could scale the abrupt cliffs to take on Hitler's army.
To experience the cliffs that these soldiers scaled it both haunting and sobering. With nearly 5,000 ships and 9,000 aircraft participating, it was just less than a year, May 8m 1945, (VE Day Victory for Europe) that Nazi Germany formally surrendered unconditionally.
At no time can the loss of 10,000 lives be considered a victory. However, one can only imagine where we would be now without their bravery.
Imagine stepping into Monet's garden. This paradise was a utopia to an artist born and raised in Paris, arriving in Giverny in 1883. Taking him away from the hustle and bustle of the big city, he quickly settled in and spent most of the rest of his life here. His garden was his masterpiece. You have seen it in many of his paintings, as this was his inspiration.
In full disclosure, a visit to Rouen may be a little information, experience, and architectural overload. From medieval to renaissance, Joan of Arc, The Cathedral of Notre Dame (aka Rouen Cathedral), a favorite subject of Monet's to the culture and cuisine, your head will be spinning with delight after a visit to Rouen.