Rainy Rouen

The meteo-radar did not look promising when we woke approaching Rouen. Wet weather due west was headed due east. When the time came to head into the town, the wet weather was upon us. Have you ever noticed cities smell different when they are wet?

Rouen has a reputation. The place where Jeanne d’Arc was burned at the stake in 1431, a medieval financial powerhouse from 1499, a continuous allied bombing target in WWII (1942-1944) because of its rail yards and other logistic targets, but today a big part of its fame comes from the very large number of timber, wattle and daub structures still standing (if barely, in a case or two), and its city clock.

This town house was built in the late 1400s before the 1520 law that forbade overhanging upper floors

As we walked through the central section of the city we were surrounded by the architectural evidence that France* was English and England was French for a very large part of medieval and renaissance history. Between the timbers is wattle, a lattice of stripped branches, straw and mud. As noted before, restoration is a career in France. *OK, Normandy.

As with all our tours, both included and optional, our guide was excellent and kept her cool when harassed by a loitering guy dressed as a chicken. The bicycle fair was a nice positive after that bit of nonsense.

It was a crowded day, Father’s Day in France, and once again we received stern warnings about pickpockets. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep one of our group from donating the contents of her purse to a passing one.


Rouen is one of the places we’d like to see more of. Our walk around encompassed just a few city blocks, and there is so much more here. Even so, we’d wait for a sunny day.

2 responses to “Rainy Rouen

  1. Thanks for the post! We loved Rouen and your post brought back memories. With our mast carried on deck we tied Distant Shores II up at the marina and explored/filming Rouen for the show. it was a great intro to our 10 weeks across France!

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