An artist’s cottage in Normandy

I knew something good had to happen. A flood in my house is just too bad to not be balanced by something good. Something good arrived in my email today. I’m a regular participant on the message boards at Slow Travel and had posted about the flood saga.  The owner of this utterly charming cottage in Honfleur who is also a SlowTrav regular noticed that (a) I’d had this  flood and (b) I was still going to Europe next week – namely to Normandy.  We were booked in a small hotel in Bayeux for four nights.  Out of the kindness of his heart this man has made a us an offer on the use of his rental cottage that we just can’t refuse.

This generous and unexpected gift completely turned my mood around. I had lost most of my enthusiasm for the trip after dealing with the flood and the aftermath, which made me angry. The week before a trip is normally the giddiest time – I wallow in my anticipation of the upcoming trip. But the spark was gone.  Thanks to Dave, owner of A Normandy artist’s cottage in Honfleur the spark is back full force. We leave in eight days – time to wallow in something beside floodwaters!

A three-minute walk from Honfleur’s breathtaking Old Harbor in one of the most beautiful towns of France, a stone and half-timber cottage with a romantic past. The main rooms and a private terrace look out on manicured lawns, rooftops and chimney pots, and the sky over the coast. Set beside a pedestrian lane, the lodging offers remarkable calm and charming decor. In French art history, it figures as the meeting place of a poet and a painter of the shore. 

I lived in my ‘bewitched’ house, the Thirty-Six Steps, because the rent was commensurate with my poor purse. There I delighted Baudelaire with a private showing of my pastel skyscapes.”

                                      – Eugene Boudin, the painter, recalling his cottage on Ruelle des 36 Marches, 1876.


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