A day in Les Andelys - Miles&Love
What a surprise!
We must admit it. We have driven passed the Eure for years. Literally. Not least because we have often travelled up there to the Cotentin Peninsula, so, we were clearly going passed it. And now that we live in Rouen, we realise more and more that this little area is full of surprises. But we had never stopped. So, one day, we spent a weekend there, an amazing weekend. And the first thing we both thought was: “but why have we never travelled there before?!”
And quickly added “when we think that we have travelled thousands of miles looking for emotions and experiences while we can have them here, only a few miles away from home”.
Anyway, let's look back at our weekend break in the Eure...
Visiting the village of Les Andelys and Château-Gaillard
Those two days in the Eure started with one of our favourite activities, actually our most-liked activity: nature walks. The best thing with Les Andelys is that, beside the quaint atmosphere of the village, there are many hills to climb. And the view over the rolling hills is dramatic.
But as usual, even if we love walking, we are never really organised. So, it's rather ill-equipped that we started climbing the few kilometres of the Marion Pond Trail leading us to Noyers. Even though it seemed a bit complicated with Manue's flip-flops, it didn't matter, we wanted to see how the valley looked like from the top so we started walking, and we were not disappointed...
The view over Les Andelys and Château-Gaillard from the Mont Pivin was stunning!
As the weather was perfect for wandering around (who said the weather was dreadful in Normandy ^^), we then decided to go and visit the village of Les Andelys that caught our eyes from the top with its little half-timbered houses (we love them) and its church. So we had a walk around and discovered a tranquil little town on the bank of the river Seine. There were swans swimming and it was extremely peaceful.
But when we looked up we saw beautiful ruins, up there, towering above us. And with the rays of sunshine coming through the clouds, the atmosphere felt almost mystical. It was Château-Gaillard, so off we went.
From up there, the view over the valley is amazing. Kings definitely knew how to choose the right place and keep an eye everywhere.
In the meantime, we remembered we had packed a picnic. So, knowing the basket was full of delicious local products, we suddenly felt hungry. And we love picnics, nature and beautiful views. So we climbed up to Château-Gaillard.
This picnic, surrounded by nature with a stunning view over the Seine valley was simply... magical.
The River Seine below, by the way, was about to become the setting for our next adventure with a certain Dominique.
Thinking you are in the heart of the Amazon rainforest here, somewhere on the river Seine
Of this first day, which seemed already busy, we will particularly remember our encounter with Dominique. What a man. Dominique has a little boat called Las Vegas that he bought a long time ago and uses to take visitors on the river Seine to show them the banks and some hidden places.
Picked with curiosity, but also a bit sceptical that we would be surprised, we got on board with this man with a friendly face. In two hours, we learnt all about the Las Vegas, about Dominique, about M. Renault, who, a long time ago, owned a house along the river Seine, about the life of the river, the birds and other animals that can be seen here and there and sometimes in spectacular scenery.
There, huge chalk cliffs and over there a river tributary covered with vegetation that gives the impression of being in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest.
And we also admired the houses we couldn't see otherwise because they are concealed from the road. We drooled in admiration over the houses and wondered if one day, maybe, we would also have a beautiful house by the water, and we kept listening to Dominique's stories.
In short, those were two incredible hours. Toped off (we shouldn't tell you) with a glass of cider we shared all together while listening to Dominique telling us about his stories, his life, his river Seine and his childhood.
At the end, we got off the boat thrilled and amazed, even more delighted than when we arrived, promising ourselves to come back again (Dominique if you read this, thank you, thank you... THANK YOU).
Finally after this busy day, we set off again to go to an even more unexpected place, even more secluded than what we thought existed in the Eure, in a Department so close to Paris… the Marais Vernier, a place that gives the impression of being at the other side of the world, but more about that in our next article!
Places we enjoyed and recommend
Fort de Thé - 3 Rue Richard Cœur de Lion, 27700 Les Andelys
A beautiful place to have a cup of tea or coffee with homemade cake. The enchanting setting is ideal to unwind and the owner, Evelyne Castaing, is very nice and always happy to have a chat.
Follow this link to book a cruise along the river Seine with the indescribable Dominique!
Article sponsored and written by Miles&Love