February 16,2017- The Rude Never Changes

Here we are in Rouen,France.  It is a lovely old city and they have some truly very old and lovely buildings.  We toured around today by foot and nothing was very far away.

We started down at the Cathedral. It was bombed in Dec 0f 1944 and they are very lucky to still have it.  There is the tomb of Richard the Lion Hearted which I have a picture of.   Denis found a strained Glass window of St.Nicholas with the three little people in the pickling bucket..  It is just a huge building with many very old paintings and statues and very impressive.

From there we had coffee and then went up to the tower where Joan of Arc was held. There were men working there so we could not go in.  You can see where some of the rest of the castle was located but they have not progressed with restoration. Then we went to the education museum which was very interesting.  Surprised to find out they taught about the issues around using too much alcohol two hundred years ago.  And they have the history of the various approaches to education in France over the centuries.   On the third floor they have a classroom set up with very old desks.  I really liked that considering we have a very old school house – not by european standards but for Canada and the US pretty darn old to be still functional.

Before that we had spend a couple of hours at the Museum of Beaux Arts.  It was interesting but would have been more so if they had anything at all written up in English.  The map even would have been helpful with some English. But that is the French for you.  The School Museum gave us an IPAD to use with English. Otherwise it would have all been Greek to us.  We learned so much there and there were other English speakers there who benefited as well.  Too bad the Art Museum was not on board.

We had trouble finding some place to eat a late lunch so we stopped at a French fast food place for panini’, and fries.  It was filling and good. The young fellow was very nice.

We have finally figured out the schedule.  Everything but restaurants close between 12-2 and after two good luck finding a place to eat before 7 pm.  We had picked out where we were going to have dinner so went back at 7.  Even then we were the first in the door but she let us sit and wait until they were officially opened.

Oh and the last place we walked to this afternoon was the City Hall which is in the old Benedictine Seminary or living quarters next to St. Ouen’s Church which is another very big one.   They have a park behind and we walked through and saw the statues and gardens which they have been sprucing up for spring.

All and all a good day.  The one thing I have found has not changed a bit each time I have visited France is the lack of warmth towards English speakers or maybe just Americans?  Hard to know which.  I know a bit of French so try and use it when I can but we let then know that speaking it is difficult for us.  At this hotel they make no effort to help us.  Today I asked about restaurants near by and got the same no answer I got from the man who was at the desk last night.  Not a grain of friendliness or effort. I think it is sad.  People were so different in Belgium and Greece.  And the French were the same back in 1967.

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