25 August 2012

To Le Havre

After lunch we left Reims behind to make our way to Le Havre, with a brief stop in Amiens en route.

Le Havre is situated at the mouth of the river Seine and is the second busiest French port. The city is very modern, because... (go-go Wikipedia):

While under German occupation, the city was devastated in 1944 during the Battle of Normandy in World War II; 5,000 people were killed and 12,000 homes destroyed, mainly by Allied air attacks. After the war, the centre was rebuilt in the modernist style by Auguste Perret.

I'll show a specific piece of Perret's work in the next post. For now, check out this visual guide to the devastation and rebuilding.

For dinner we headed down to the beachfront. On the way we learnt about the major ports of countries that are big players in shipping. As you'll see again in later posts, Le Havre is all about teaching you interesting things while you're on your way somewhere.

Being by the water, we opted for seafood. The proprietor of the place was a funny guy. My friend was our speaker for the journey, dusting off her French after four years of living and breathing Japanese. He asked a few things about us, corrected her French twice, then crowned it all with, "Your French is quite good... for an American."

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