Exploring the beautiful medieval towns and villages just south of Rouen.
Normandy, just west of Paris has some great history. It was settled as early as the 4th century b.c. and was the location of choice for the Vikings as they began their invasions of western Europe around the start of the 9th century. It is from here that William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, set out to take the throne of England, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake, where Monet painted water lilies, and where the allies landed in WWII.
Many of us have the D-Day landing beaches and memorials on our bucket list. But Normandy is more than that. The region has a great medieval feel to it, and not surprisingly, given its proximity and historic ties, has the look of England — the countryside and terrain, and the style of architecture.
This is Part 1 of the Upper (Haute) Normandy tour, covering the area that runs south and east of Rouen, in the Eure department. Rouen is selected as the starting point because it’s a great town for spending a day or two in its own right, and other destinations are accessible from there.