Adventures in train travel… it’s the thing I’m most uptight about with this trip. I went to get the train to Rouen this morning. I had to take the metro from Gare du Nord to Gare Saint Lazare. What I didn’t realise was that there’s a Saint Lazare METRO station, and a Saint Lazare TRAIN station. All you have to do is exit the metro station and walk over to the train station, but first thing in the morning, it’s not as easy as it sounds. A lovely woman stopped and asked if she could help, in French of course. All I heard was “cherche” which I think means find, or look for? Anyways, I managed to understand what she told me and found the train station. I fully thought I’d missed my train, but caught it in the nick of time. Then, I was going to stop at Giverny to see Monet’s gardens, but the train didn’t stop before Roeun, so c’est la vie to that one!
When I got to Rouen, I stopped at the info. office to ask for a map. No map. So, I walked around for 45 minutes with “The Albatross” (pet name for my rolling suitcase) sweating and swearing, looking for my hotel. Wound up back at the train station, looked at the big map again, and saw that my hotel was actually just down the street from there. 5 minute walk. No joke. I hope this teaches me a lesson.
Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen on May 30, 1431. It was a little eerie sitting in the square and imagining her last moments right there in that spot. Unfortunately it’s also the spot where all the ruffians seemed to be hanging out. Rouen is a lovely city, but it has a bit of a rough edge to it. Lots of graffiti, and more gypsies than I saw in Paris. Another thing I’ve noticed here is an abundance of kebab houses and Maisons de The. Go figure!