We left Rouen in the morning and arrived in Les Andelys in the early afternoon. Les Andelys is a small town 40 km southeast of Rouen. Despite our shipward movement away from Normandy Beach, were still in the Normandy region of France.
Our group boarded a bus and headed into town. Les Andelys is divided into two portions: Grand-Andely and Petit-Andely, the latter being the older section that was established when Richard the Lionheart ordered the building of a fortress which would be called Le Château Gaillard.
We toured the Our Lady’s Collegiate Church in Petite-Andely. Work on the church started in the 1200’s and wasn’t completed until the end of the Hundred Year’s War in 1570. The stained windows in the lower section of the church were replaced due to the bombings during World War II.
After the church, our bus continued up the hillside to a clearing near Le Château Gaillard. We walked what we thought was a walkway that ended up being a narrow street. We a car approached, we were directed to walk single file on the left side of the street.
Because of the architectural feat, it was estimated that the fortress would take 10 years to build. Because of Richard’s determination, it only took 2 years to build. We walked around the moat and across the walkway to the inside of the fortress.
It was the ideal location to build this structure as there is a commanding view of the valley and river from it. Walking back towards the cruise ship was a bit challenging as there was loose gravel on the sloped path.
That evening, I wasn’t hungry. I was told that the pork shank was delicious, but I had the ravioli porcini instead. I’m not a pasta person, but the combination of the warm butter sauce with the porcini mushrooms was delightful.