Honfleur – Enjoy a Family Holiday by This Harbor Town

This is French town with a Norman history and much of that can still be seen in landmarks, culture, and traditions in this harbor city. What I came across here was a picturesque harbor that acted as a strategic inner port in yesteryears. Goods coming in from England were shipped here from Rouen. It was also a site of war, especially the hundred years’ war that went on between France and England.

If you come here, stay for a day and soak in the historic vibes of the town. As I explored the harbor area and chatted with the locals, I got to know that port trade also included ships coming in from Portugal, West Indies, and Canada; hence, there was an influx of foreigners through this region.

Vieux-Bassin

This is an old harbor area where I enjoyed looking at the townhouses that date back to the 16th to 18th century. If you like to explore art and architecture like I do you will find examples of fine artists like Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet.

St. Catherine’s Church

This can be your next stop. What I found interesting here was that it has a structure of vaulted timber that was put up by shipbuilders and it dates back to the 15th century.

Musee Eugene-Boudin

Works of this painter of the 19th century can be found here, a former convent. I also enjoyed exploring works of other Impressionist artists here. There are also multimedia exhibits here which you and your family will find interesting.

NaturoSpace

If you have come here on vacation with your children this is a must visit. I discovered it to be a large greenhouse that has a botanical garden, rare birds and tropical butterflies. You can also visit a waterfront park nearby, called the Jardin des Personnalites. Here I also found a city beach area to enjoy, locally known as Plague du Butin.

Guimarães: Enjoy the Attractions at Culture Packed Cities

Guimarães is the birthplace of Portugal. Every historic center and the palaces that I came across are World Heritage Site. The city has so much to offer that you will have to organize your schedule in order to ensure that you see it all.   Andrey told me that when you visit Guimarães, there are a few things that you need to do, and take your time when you visit, to take in each historic attraction.

Palace of Dukes of Braganza

The palace had been built by Afonso, the Count of Barcelos. There are tall narrow brick chimneys, gothic pointing arches, and courtyard having galleries. I strolled around the palace at a slow pace for enjoying the furniture, tapestries, weapons, ceiling beams, and ceramics, and fireplaces. The architecture of the palace is something to marvel at.

Historic Guimarães

The core of the city is narrow and has twisted lanes with granite buildings on both sides. It is set on the stiff slopes where I came across mansions, churches, and majestic convents. In every few meters, there is a sight that is worth checking out. However, this work is lived-in and isn’t a piece of museum.

Guimarães Castle

During the tenth century, it had to deal with two primary threats, the Vikings raiding the Atlantic and the Moors attacking rest of the Iberian Peninsula. Hence, a castle had been erected almost towards the north where the city stands today. The greenery around the castle makes it look more beautiful.

Monte Da Penha

In order to reach the hilltop, I took a cable car from Guimarães. If you see, this is a great attraction with several platforms or terraces. Stand on top of it to catch the breathtaking sight of nature. I also came across a sanctuary which has been there for hundreds of years now. The view from the summit is a treat to the eyes.