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Good Time Had By All on Seine River Cruise

Nineteen (19) classmates and wives checked in on the Viking Spirit docked in Paris next to the minature copy of the ‘Statue of Liberty’ on August 29th.  Along with the ‘61’ group there were 14 couples of friends and family. 

Paris (Day 1 & 2):  After an overnight on the boat there was a morning bus tour of Paris.  The afternoon was free to venture out on the subway to do our own tours of the Louvre, Montmartre, des Invalides, Notre Dame and other famous sites. The weather was spectacular, as it would be during the entire cruise, allowing us to take in the beauty of Paris and the Seine. 

Giverny and Vernon (Day 3):  Our next adventure was a tour of Monet’s home and gardens.  We arrived early in the morning and had the beautiful gardens to ourselves.  The walking tour included the water garden, the Japanese bridge, the water lilies, huge sun flowers, wisteria and azaleas.  Everywhere one turned provided a new beautiful visual sensation. A walking tour of Vernon followed.  Vernon was founded in the ninth century by the Viking Rollo.  A beautiful village with many half timbered homes and flowers everywhere. 

Rouen (Day 4):  After a couple of very busy days, we were content to spend the morning in the lounge enjoying coffee and a lecture on the medieval city of Rouen and St. Joan of Arc.  Our program director, Mieke, was absolutely superb.  Following lunch was a  walking tour of Rouen included the beautiful gothic Notre Dame Cathedral, which Monet painted many times and the spot where Joan of Arch was burned in 1431.  The town was filled with half timbered houses and a beautiful Great Clock built into the medieval town gate. 

Normandy Beaches (Day 5) Early in themorning we loaded the buses for our trip to Normandy.  We toured the Visitor’s Center at Gold Beach and had a delightful lunch in a local restaurant.  We then visited the beautiful, somber American Military Cemetery.  The sea of 17,000 white crosses and lovely flowering gardens were quite moving.  We felt privileged and honored to be among such heroes.  We then visited Omaha beach, a truly hallowed ground where some gathered a vial of sand from the beach. 

Les Andelys (Day 6)  The next stop was the Village of Les Andelys with it’s imposing castle, Chateau Gaillard built by Richard the Lionhearted. Many trudged up to the top of the hill to see this castle while others spent the time on a walking tour of the village and browsing in the wonderful little shops.  This stretch of the river is particually beautiful with the cliffs of white limestone overlooking the river.

Conflans and Paris (7)  The village of Conflans was our last walking tour.  It was ever so charming with the narrow side streets, cobblestone walkways, the imposing castle, and the docks where River Boat Captains return to retire on their boats.  This village is where they send their children to school.  They even have a river boat chapel with a Priest and regular masses, christenings and weddings.  Some in the group chose to visit Versailles, the former home of Louis XI.  We then sailed on to the City of Light….Paris!  Another beautiful, sunny day with time on the top deck to enjoy the country side of France and to reminisce with our friends before departing the next morning for home.  It ended all too soon and all of us a bit wiser in the knowledge of Paris and the Seine River.  What wonderful memories.

Click here for Seine River Cruise slideshow (100 of the 110 pictures provided by Dick Buckner).

Click here for France River Cruise People slideshow (149 pictures provided by Bill Bradfeild).













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