I had read about the tall boat show, the so called Armada, to be held in Rouen on the website for Francophiles, The Good Life in France and it looked like it would be fabulous. My husband got on the website for the event and found that you could even book a ride up the Seine to Honfleur on one of those impressive ships with lunch along the way. There was room available and before I knew it, we had a reservation.

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Rouen is full of half timbered buildings. Many were damaged during WWII but rebuilt afterwards. There are about 1000 of them and it’s great to walk up the streets and see them everywhere.

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There’s this huge, impressive clock tower over the street.

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Look at the crowds on the harbor there to look at the ships. It was like Disneyland.

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This was our ship, the Artemis. We had lunch and drinks on board as we went up thue Seine towards Honfleur. It was an all day trip.

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Those black things on the masts of this huge Russian ship are sailors. They climb up to untie the ropes so the sails can be unfurled. Much to my disappointment, none of the ships, including ours, ever sailed as it’s too hard to tack back and forth under sail on a river.

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As we left Rouen, the harbor was packed with people watching the ships leave and I thought that we wouldn’t see any more spectators but on every shore and every road or town where cars could park and people could gather, there were hundreds of people viewing the Armada. I’m not good at estimating numbers but I think, in all, there must have been around a million people watching us pass by. And many of them waved and loved to be waved at by those of us on the ships. I did it over and over until my shoulders hurt. I felt like I had to wave back as they were so excited to see us.

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A look at the map showing our route to Honfleur.