Published on :   05/21/2015

An Excursion Around les Andelys

Today, I was woken up in the most magical way possible.

The light peeking through my curtains nudged me awake, and I was greeted with a bright orange sunrise that lit up the Seine as fog rolled over the water. I could get used to this type of wakeup call, that’s for sure!

Plus, it helps that my room is strategically placed just steps away from the Dining Room, meaning only a few metres separate me from the breakfast buffet.

After fuelling up on croissants, sausages, and yogurt, we spent the morning cruising and soon docked at the small town of les Andelys, in Upper Normandy. My first CroisiEurope excursion would take me through various points of interest in the area, with stops at scenic viewpoints, churches and castles. In France, there are plenty of these.

A large chunk of my bus tour was a really nice family from Utah, here on the cruise to celebrate their parents’ 40th anniversary. One thing I’ve noticed in my travels is that Americans adore picking out Canadian accents, and this family was certainly no exception. I’m happy to say I passed their test though, and was deemed to have “pretty good English for a Canadian”.

Our first stop took us high up to the Chateau de Gaillard, a 12th century castle whose ruins today sit almost 100m above the Seine. It once served as the stronghold of Richard the Lionheart and supposedly only took a year to build. From this vantage point, we got a great view of the Seine Valley. Being a sucker for high-up views, I happily snapped away, while some daredevils from my group decided to maximize our 15-minute time limit with a sprint to the castle ruins and back. They somehow made it back with time to spare, so kudos!

After a short stop in town to visit the Andelys’ Notre Dame Church, we continued to our main attraction of the day, the Chateau de Martainville. Built in the 15th century, this pretty castle is unique particularly because of its symmetrical structure. Since the 60s, it has acted as a museum showcasing artifacts and displays of Norman everyday life. We were given audio guides to learn more about each of the castle’s 28 rooms, but for me, the perfectly manicured French gardens were the best part!

After this sight-filled day, we headed back on the cruise for another delicious dinner. At this point, I’m scared my clothes won’t fit me by the end of this tour… The food is just too good.

Now, although it is only Day 2, I feel like I’ve already developed a routine for myself. Powered by wine and espresso, you can say I’ve become an eating and sightseeing machine. It’s oddly comforting to have this consistency though, in spite of the fact that I wake up someplace new each day.

As for tomorrow, I’m headed out on a day trip to the beautiful Alabaster Coast. I hope you're ready for some picturesque cliffs!

Talk to you all soon!

- Christina