I took this photo of Honfleur in Normandie today with my iPod. Doesn’t it look more like a painting?
Today, we drove from Paris to Normandie, one of my favorite places in the world, living a Travelife.
It was love at first sight. I’ve liked Normandie ever since I first set foot in the town of Deauville, many years ago, and saw the half-timbered houses and quaint details of the area.
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NO PLACE FOR CALORIE-COUNTING
The food is pretty good, too, although it’s certainly not for people on diets. The food of Normandie is hearty and rich, and ever so delicious. I never think about calories when I’m here.
It was a cold and cloudy Easter Sunday when we set out on the highway for Normandie.
EASTER IN ROUEN
But by mid-morning, we were in Rouen, the capital of the region, and we decided to stop for Easter service at the great cathedral of Rouen.
We walked into church just in time to see the bishop pass in his glorious Easter robes and begin the service.
FOOD. GLORIOUS FOOD.
My favorite Livarot from Normandie
After the service, we walked down towards the Old Market square where I knew there would be a very nice food market of fresh goods and products from the region.
Just walking through this market today made me remember the joys of food — and not just the joys of eating it, but also the joys of making it or creating something with it.
Vegetables in the Rouen market today. Don’t they look amazingly delicious?
A bucket of moules at a stall reminded me of how I used to buy such buckets for five euros each in the market of Deauville.
I would then cook these as a first course for dinner with lots of garlic, finely chopped herbs and tomatoes, and about two glasses of very good white wine.
Then, in the market in Rouen today, I saw the oysters from the oyster man, laid out so tantalizingly in all kinds and sizes. The Gillardeau #4 pictured above, by the way, was among the best of the lot today.
This suddenly gave me the inspiration to have some oysters right then and there as an appetizer before a proper lunch.
“Here?” The companion said, slightly incredulously.
HEAVEN ON A PLATE
So I asked the oyster man to pick us an assortment of his best oysters — basically two of each kind, so that we would have six different types of oysters — and to open them for us so we could eat them immediately.
“Bien sur,” the oyster man replied, completely non-plussed. In fact, he then asked: “Would you like pepper with it? Or shall I give you a lemon?“
A lemon, please, I answered.
Then he disappeared with our oysters to be shucked, only to reappear after a minute or two, sans oysters. He asked: “Would you like two glasses of wine with it?“
Of course we did.
We were in France, it was Easter Sunday, and we were living a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.