One delayed train, one cancelled bus, one re-delayed train, one 4-hour bus ride, one short nap, and one train later, I finally arrived in Rouen, the capital of Normandy. Although my legs nearly gave out during the steep climb to my Airbnb, the descent was much easier, and getting to see the typical Rouen-style architecture–the maisons à colombage (timbering)–was well worth it.
Before I fangirled over the ridiculously picturesque houses, I popped into the Abbatiale Saint-Ouen, fawned over the Église Saint-Maclou (but couldn’t go in because of a wedding), and gazed at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen.
Since SNCF had doomed me to arrive 2 hours late, I then wandered aimlessly through the city, drinking in all the colorful, timbered houses. (Am I the only one who thinks Beauty and the Beast modeled its houses after this city?)
On Rue du Gros Horloge, I climbed the bell tower for a history lesson on clocks and a panoramic view of the city, nearly having a heart attack when the bells rung in the room above my head.
Back on one of Rouen’s most famous pedestrian streets, a colorful display of macarons lured me into a pâtisserie, and I ended up purchasing two tiny ones, lemon and lychee-raspberry. The second one, though. Oh my god. I’ve been ruined.
I savored my macarons outside the Église Sainte-Jeanne-d’Arc, at what I thought was a peaceful little park, but as it turns out, some dad explained to his kid that it was where they burned Joan of Arc. Whoops?
After I wandered along the banks of the Seine and consumed the most delicious Pad Thai for dinner, Pepito, the cat who rules over my Airbnb, started complaining because he was hungry, but I couldn’t for the life of me find his food. I felt so awful, I texted M, who came back and then immediately left to buy him croquettes…and he started screaming the instant the door closed behind her. Poor guy. Hopefully M comes back soon with his food.