When I was younger, I dreamt of travelling America on a convertible or VW Combi. In my early 20s, my dream was changed to driving in a convertible to Europe. Now that I've done it, it wasn't much of a fun for me. 1. There is the hair situation when your hair can't stay perfect no matter how much you style it. 2. I get motion sickness which leads me to sleeping on the car most of the time. 3. I can't drive yet. I really need to sort my license out.
I have been to Paris twice before. Both times with my mum and my sister. We have covered mostly all the famous spots in Paris so this trip didn't need much planning for me. I can just eat, relax and enjoy the scenery. I can't tell you if the drive to Rouen was scenic. All I can remember was the long motorways then I woke up and bam! We were in Rouen. :-P
Rouen doesn't feel like Paris at all. It feels more like a small English town with loads of Gothic Churches, tea places, cafes and restaurants, high street and designers boutiques (Hermes to name one) and timber incorporated houses. In the UK we call them Tudor houses as they were made in the Tudor era but in Rouen, it feels like it was incorporated into the design of the house.
When we first arrived in Rouen, my first thought was, where can we park? The roads in the city centre is small, usually single lane in residential area. The traffic system is weird. They have go for both cars and people BUT only go for cars if there are no pedestrian passing. We almost had an accident on our first hour which scares the hell out of me. When we finally found the parking and the boutique hotel, we did our usual, slept and rest for hours and got up in time to explore the town.
I've got only 5 things to see in this trip. I'm quite lenient since I know I am here to stay for good in Europe. :P Here they are:
1. Church of Joan d'Arc
Very interesting architecture, in the shape of the dragon. This is the actual site where Joan of Arc was burnt.
2. Rue de Gros Horloge
3. Rue St. Romain
Where all the good tea places are and everything shabby chic in my eyes are. :P
4. Cathedral de Notre Dame light show
This is free and not to be missed. Our show started at dusk. We sat right in the middle with wide lens angle and got these amazing photos. If you miss the first few minutes of the show, don't despair. They played it back to back.
5. Les Jardin Du Sculpteur Jean-Marc de Pas
The last one didn't happen though as we intended to go Giverny instead.
In Rouen, all you need is a good camera, good shoes for walking and basic French to survive. I don't have basic French skills but my husband does. Thank God! He is specially good with asking for directions.