Rouen France. Day 2. 8 June 2019

Good day folks, thanks for following along with us as we have travelled from Victoria BC Canada to Barcelona Spain, then Cadiz, up coast of Portugal (Lisbon and Porto), several stops in France (Saint Malo, Cherbourg, Honfleur)…. as we prepare to leave Rouen France, today is our last stop on mainland Europe.

A sea day tomorrow, followed by Greenwich England and then nice flight home, direct this time :). Westjet, London Gatwick to Vancouver and then a quick hop over to Victoria by Tuesday afternoon 11 June 2019.

Today, with rain on the forecast, we bundled up after a leisurely breakfast and grabbed the large bus shuttle to town. Our intention to walk over the bridge and walk along the Tall Ships exhibition here in beautiful Rouen, on the Seine River in France. The rain held off, the crowds were building, 5 entrances, free admission but security present creating some line-ups to get in. Families, young and old, friends, single walkers, tourists and locals all seemed happy to be walking along the promenade. Many lining up to step foot on and tour around the ships themselves.

Several countries have pavilions … Canada selling maple syrup products from Quebec, Russia selling stacking colorful dolls, Cuba selling interesting bright colored food served in edible dishes. I noticed the Swiss tent but don’t recall what they were featuring. Flags flying proudly in the wind, beckoning walkers to take a closer look.

The promenade spread out about two kilometers on both sides of the Seine, with 50 Tall Ships from around the world, open air tour boats taking people to view from the river, for photo opportunities. We kept our eye on each other walking as the crowds got more and more dense, people stopping at white tents for purchasing sweets, baked products, mouilles frites, beverages, souvenirs of the Armada 2019, leather goods, cheeses, wines. One tent hosted huge, larger than life-size pink plastic pigs drawing attention to their food being cooked over fire pits, pigs on racks rotating, stacks of wood to add to the fire. Never seen anything like that before! Otherwise it had the real feel of a festival like Calgary Stampede, I thought.

We were grateful that the rain held off. We retraced our steps back to the main bridge and found the exit. We enjoyed walking along the roadway back to the ship. Total walking time of our outing today was 2.5 hours.

When we arrived at the ship the staff were rearranging the stairway up to the 5th floor of the ship ….

A wee rest and then lunch at the buffet. Now sitting in the Living Room, 10th floor, looking out at the sun sparkling on the water in front of us. Big gray and white clouds taking turns covering the sunshine that surely is above, creating the heat of this day. It has been a spectacular place to park and visit this great city. No regrets, only gratitude for the weather, the ancient sites, the waterways and celebration of the Tall Ships here in Europe. The torrential rain has started now, difficult to make out shapes on the front window through the many large raindrops. It is a beautiful day.

I listened to a few chapters of “Making Friends With Your Mind” recording with Pema Chodron as the weather passed this afternoon. Went for some laps of walking around the deck, it was warm and sunny. Decided to have a swim in the lovely salt water pool. About ten minutes into the pool, the black clouds came back and the rain started again. It is time now to get ready for dinner. Music can be heard from the pier, our balcony door open, concert beginning the evening celebrations.

As we prepare to depart France tonight, I think about the trip, my intentions to walk and be present to the land and stories we are walking on … ending the trip in Greenwich England, where time takes on a new meaning. More to follow …..

Each night before drifting off to sleep we have been exchanging gratitude from the day, the trip, or what has happened to us. It builds a closeness, a sense of positivity and friendliness with ourselves, each otherand the world around us.

I intend to keep that practice going as I return home, ever so grateful to have a wonderful supportive home to return to. Grateful for my loving family, for having enough, for being enough. Thankful for safety and positivity.

Thank you for following and supporting me in my travels,

Pamela

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