Invasion of Normandy
Radies and gentlemen, how was your Christmas? In Japan, it must be romantic at the Christmas eve. I can see young boys and girls being fidgety in the city illumination. On the other side, in France, it's an important day for the family. We can say that it's similar to the New Year's day in Japan. We go to our grand parents house to share a good meal, talk with relatives etc. We also exchange Christmas gifts at midnight of course!
I visited Normandy region this Christmas. It's the city of Rouen.
You don't know this impressive city?
Here, we have the cathedral of Rouen, of which Claude Monet had drawn a lot of paintings. It's really impressive. Its form is detailed. If Monet were the realism painter, he had never chosen this cathedral for drawing.
*When you speak with a French, you have to pronounce Rouen as "Fu-an".
In front of the cathedral, there was "Marché de Noël", which means Christmas Market. The smells of marron and hot wine decorated the atmosphere of the "Noël" in France.
There is an another famous place in Rouen. That is "the place of Jeanne d'Arc". This is the place where Jeanne d'Arc, the immortal love of French people, was executed. We can see a monument of grand cross and a beautiful church. Today, here is always bustling as a market and as a relaxing place for people.
Almost the northern tip
To the north from Rouen, I went to Dieppe too. It's a small port village next to the sea, 4 hours far from the U.K. There was a tragedic battle during the war, it's a village with long history.
This city is not well-known in Japan, but in France, it's a famous resort area. The sea is shallow off the shore, we can enjoy a hot pool in spa even in winter. Some people take the gravel in the beach for souvenir, but don't do it. You will be punished. The scallop is very good here. You have to come to try.
By the way, Monet had painted Dieppe too.