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Seine River Cruise

PONDER’S RIVER SEINE CRUISING.

A day cruising on the Seine. There are cows grazing on the sunlit green pastures opposite you as you enjoy a glass of wine on deck. Sailing under vast, vaulting bridges, and along past dense, green valleys where the sunlight tumbles in a tidal wave down to the water’s edge.
The peace and sense of stillness is incredible. Cars and lorries moving along the roads are seen rather than heard. Ancient chateaux and long abandoned monasteries suddenly appear from between gaps in the foliage, their walls seared with memories of another time and place. You are literally staring history in the face on this silent, spellbinding river.
The towns appear like random exclamation marks. Pretty, yacht filled Honfleur has a gorgeous town centre, set around a rectangular quayside flanked by bars, shops and houses, several storeys high and painted in shades of blue, green and slate grey. Umbrella shaded restaurants and bars flood the cobblestone waterfront, while trawlers sail right up to the quayside to drop off the morning’s catch.
The nearby Monet Gardens are a lush, tranquil expanse of gorgeous plants and fauna, and an easy walk from the quayside. At the nearby beach, you’ll see the incredible play of light on water that drove so many Impressionist painters- Monet included- to depict Honfleur so often.
Many river cruises also visit historic, storied Rouen, with its magnificent, medieval spread of half timbered houses that wind along cobbled streets. The fourteenth century Gros Horloge is a quirky, whimsical contraption of a clock that stands above one of the many side streets.
You should also see Notre Dame here, and also the beautiful church of Saint Maclou.These are two of the masterpieces that give Rouen it’s nickname, the ‘city of a thousand spires’. But, of course, Rouen is also indelibly linked with Joan of Arc.
The scene of her martyrdom in May, 1431 is marked by a single, stark cross in the middle of the Place de Vieux Marche, the old market place. Around this area there are many fine restaurants, with prices that are surprisingly reasonable, too.
And, as a fantastic finale, you sail into the heart of Paris itself, with amazing views of Notre Dame and the Ile de La Cite as you arrive. The Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Champs Elysees might all be on your personal menu here, or simply enjoy outstanding cuisine at a bistro in sunny, atmospheric Montmartre. Tres bon.

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