Friday, June 29, 2012

Belle Isle Sur Risle

Exhausted from three long days in Paris, and a harrowing exit from that beautiful but busy city, we arrived at an oasis on Thursday afternoon. Earlier, Jessica had found the driving directions and saved them to a document, as internet cannot be counted on in Europe, we've learned!

We had a stressful hour escaping Paris, but once on the "freeway" it was truly smooth sailing, although all were a bit cranky from a skipped lunch and getting out of town.  David managed to get into the groove with our car, a cute but very cramped Mercedes! (The first nightmare was attempting to get our luggage stowed.  The trunk was not large enough for all of our suitcases, so the girls will be sharing the back seat with one.  At least it is a barrier!)

After taking the exit in our directions, we passed what appeared to be a boarded up town, and I was hoping that this hotel would be better than our surroundings.  Suddenly, an old sign pointed the way off the "main" road.  I use that word loosely, as there is barely enough room for two cars to pass each other. We parked and looked at the side view of our Belle Isle Sur Risle Hotel building.

This is the front view.  

 a small portion of the parlour . . .

We were given two keys, and rooms at the top of the first landing, with a tiny hallway between.  The girls room faces out from the side, and ours faces a wide expanse of lawn leading down to one portion of the river that surrounds this little oasis!

Jess sitting in the wide open casement, catching the breeze!

The bath . . . luxurious, with complementary slippers and bathrobes, along with the usual amenities.

We were starving, so we got back in the car and headed for the town proper of Pont-Audemer. It was after 2:30, and we soon discovered when asking, that most restaurants were closed until 7:30 PM.  Luckily for us, there was a pub across the way and he offered us a bit of bread, ham and cheese. 

Ham and cheese, French style! Yes, the cheese is melted on top!  It's quite yummy!
Teeny, tiny streets.  This was pedestrian only.
Gorgeous flowers in pots all along the canal, on both sides.
 Ooh la la . . . for dinner tonight!
 One of many passage ways, not sure if they are called ginnels in France?  Anyone know??
 Restaurant built in 1664
Another sign for a restaurant. After a leisurely walk about town, we returned to the hotel.  David rested while the girls and I took our cameras to explore the property.

One of many, many flowering bushes.  Many looked similar to roses, in red, pink and white.
This propped up tree was just one of several that were very interesting.
Jessica took this photo of us during our stroll.

This photo doesn't really do them justice, but the rocks in France are so cool.  Jess and I have collected several from various locations, and many are agate-like.  I found a perfectly round one, that I am sure is beautiful inside, but I like it's shape.  This rock is everywhere.  Larger ones surround flower beds and line walkways, but these small ones are what boring gravel is in our home town!

I love these ancient buildings and roofs!  This one is growing a mohawk.

Looking up through the tree canopy.

This is the spa.  We didn't have time to make reservations for a massage, 
but it sure would have been nice if we had.

It was a lovely interlude, in the midst of what have seemed like very long days.  If I had known what a treat it was, I would have booked two nights!  As it was, we headed out for Caen, taking a route that wove through dozens of tiny villages, and along the beaches of Normandy. I snapped photos frequently and will share that adventure another day, as it is getting late.  

Au revoir


  1. The photos are proof that you are all having a wonderful time. Wish I was there. :-)

  2. I would love to travel out into the countryside of France as you have done. These photos are really nice. You look fabulous and happy. The trip is doing you good it appears.

  3. That whole place looks so peaceful and calm. You all looked so happy and relaxed. What a wonderful vacation. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. I'm loving your trip and your adventures, Sandi. The photos are so charming - I want to visit there!

  5. I love the mohawk roof! If you can, will you bring me home a cool French rock? Love you and I'm glad you're all having a good time!

  6. What a wonderful place! I too would have loved to stay there longer than just one night. The chance to be somewhere off the beaten track and with family, and it's a real treat to be brought along with your pictures and description. More, please! :-)

  7. What a great place to visit. Lucky you. Love the roofs! Yes, a mohawk.
    Continued safe travels to you. Enjoy the fabulous trip.

  8. Oh Sandi how beautiful. That hotel looked like such a warm and wonderful place to stay. I am so glad that you are having such an amazing trip. Good for you girl!!
    Love Di ♥

  9. I am really enjoying your adventures Sandi!

  10. Dear Sandi, the village and hotel you found seem like the perfect oasis. Thank you for sharing the photographs and please do keep filling us in with what's happening--both by word and photo! Peace.

  11. How gorgeous. I'm sure this is a fabulous adventure.

    Those rocks are cool!

  12. So much fun! What an adventure! Europe makes America look like a baby when it comes to "old"...old buildings that are still standing, and still in use. Love the pic of you and the girls!

  13. I LOVE your hotel! beats boring hotels here that I have been to for sure!. And that cheese on top of the bread looked heavenly! I have to say the mohawk house made me laugh...Great pictures!
    Blessings, Joanne

  14. That isn't a hotel--that's a palace!! Great photos! Eat croissants!

  15. It seems that everything about Paris is magnificent. Indeed travelling not just meant for our eyes to be delighted but a brain booster too as it adds up stack knowledge and history of the place.

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  16. Tres elegant Sandi! What a wonderful find- looks a lovely part of France that I must explore some time. And I see you discovered the late lunch staple for hungry travllers in France and Belgium-the croque monsiuer (toasted sandwich!)

  17. We're sitting in the Houston airport waiting for our finall leg home. I'm so happy to have easy Internet access at last. What a wonderful and beautiful adventure you're having. I wonder how you've changed as a result of this, or how your family will be different. I can hardly wait to compare notes my world traveling friend. When we cleared customs and the officer said welcome home, it brought tears to my eyes. We are so blessed!

  18. Oh my, you really are 'doing Europe' the American way.
    "If it's Wednesday it must be Belgium." that's the joke the English make to describe the itineraries US tourists have.

    I have just caught up with your travel posts and feel totally exhausted. Are you still standing?

    I expect you need several weeks rest back home.

    I am glad you have managed to enjoy your time so far.


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