Normandy Cruise – 2009

Conflans and Tour of Outdoor Food Market

 

November 7 – 15, 2009

 

Part I:  Memphis to Paris, Viking Ship Seine

Part 5: Conflans and Tour of Market

Part 2: D-Day Beaches on Normandy

Part 6: Paris and Visit to Napoleon’s Tomb

Part 3: Scenic Coastal Town of Honfleur

Part 7: Flights to Cincinnati and Memphis

Part 4: Rouen and Les Andelys

Link to Travelogue about 2001 France Cruise

 

-  Updated Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010

 

About 35 trip photos mainly taken by Betty Nolan are posted at www.ritzpix.com in an album entitled “2009 – France” under member name of Lewis “Buzz” Nolan’s email address. Email lewis_nolan@yahoo.com for instructions on how to access. Note: captions were being added to photos in late 2009.

 

By LEWIS NOLAN

 

Nov. 13, 2009, Friday – In Conflans, France

 

After our usual breakfast in the splendid dining room, Betty went on a walking tour of the town of  Conflans near Paris while I napped, worked on my travelogue notes and read some of Tom Clancy’s great book “Power Plays: Politika.”

 

Viking Ship ‘Seine River’ Docked on France’s Seine while Passengers Shop, Tour

 

 

 

Betty enjoyed her morning tour and spent some time poking around the town’s wonderful outdoor market stalls selling fresh fish, other sea food, flowers and vegetables grown on area farms.

 

A few of our fellow passengers got an early start for a bus ride to the beautiful French palace at Versailles. Betty any I passed on that endurance trip, having visited it 20 or so years earlier. While seeing the showy palace exterior was interesting, our only glimpse of the inside came during a quick visit to the restrooms. Unfortunately, the palace had been closed to visitors on the day we drove there, probably a Monday when many of France’s tourist attractions pretty much shut down.

 

During Betty’s visit to Conflans she hiked up a hill for a good view of a chateau now serving as a museum and also of a floating church on the river.

 

For lunch, I indulged in a small amount of French bread covered with a bit of egg salad (off my low-carb diet) and a small taste of Torte Normandy, followed by a mid-afternoon lecture on French cheeses. There are over 400 varieties of the region’s cheese, with samples of a few served in the boat’s lounge. Those passengers present also sat through a lecture given by boat staff on de-embarkation procedures, which proved to be as flawless as other services handled by ship’s crew.

 

We tried to sit on the outdoor deck topside on the sunny afternoon, but quickly retreated back inside the boat due to annoying cigar smoke.

 

Dinner that evening was most enjoyable, featuring fresh mussels served on a bed of slaw-like cabbage and lettuce. Betty had spotted the ship’s fabulous chef personally selecting and purchasing the mussels at the market she toured earlier in the day. Seeing the chef actual shopping for fresh food was a major difference between this boat and an earlier cruise in France on the Grand Circle line, where virtually all the food for its cruise in a nearly identical boat is bought in advance at the home port.

 

Besides a bowl of steamed mussels for dinner, I had three lamb chops, two samples of cheese, and a taste of a chocolate pastry that was wonderful. I and other guests at the table enjoyed glasses of red wine bought in town by our companionable fellow passenger Paul Granett.

 

That evening, Betty took advantage of a special, two-hour excursion on the Seine River and associated waterways in Paris on one of the Bateau Mouche tour boats made available to Viking passengers. By eating so much cheese that day without taking a precautionary digestive enzyme aid, I predictably suffered an upset stomach.

 

So I stayed on the boat and in bed while Betty enjoyed the impressive outing that included views of the Eifel Tower and other landmarks in the soft floodlights. It’s really a shame and nuisance that my 66-year-old body has become so overly sensitive to daily products like cheese, mayonnaise and milk. But I’m learning to deal with it, albeit much slower than I’d like.

 

(Continue with Part 6, Visit to Napoleon’s Tomb in Paris  /  Return to Nolan Travels Home Page)