Tuesday of our first week in Rouen I had planned to see the Historial Jeanne d’Arc, a new exhibit set up in Rouen’s Archbishop’s palace that we had not seen in 2014. We also got to visit the city’s Museum of Antiquities that day, and eat at a couple of new restaurants, La P’tite Jeanne and Ho Lamian.
We would visit Historial Jeanne d’Arc twice, and if you want to hear a complete description of it, check out when we went there with our friend Faith. For now, I will treat you to some photos of things to be seen at the exhibit, especially some of the sculptures and paintings that have been made of Joan of Arc down through time.
One thing we got to see on this first visit that I particularly enjoyed was the Chapelle d’Aubigne. From the eighteenth century, it is actually the newest part of the palace. Its gold on white decoration is quite elegant and lovely.
It was not an incredible lunch experience, but the noodles I had with chicken and an Asian-style sauce (soy sauce, ginger) were quite enjoyable. The thing I find most interesting about this restaurant is that currently they have no Internet presence at all – no website, no Facebook page, nothing (it’s not even on Google Maps!). I tried to open a page for them on TripAdvisor to get them started, but of course, without anything to go on other than my photos, they rejected my request.
While we were in the neighborhood, we made a stop at the Natural food store, where I picked up some almond milk and soy chocolate pudding. I enjoyed the latter for the odd snack, and the milk got used with breakfast and also for cooking.
At this point we were somewhat at a loss of how to fill in the rest of our afternoon. So we asked at the Tourist Information Office (just opposite the Cathedral, again), and the fellow there suggested the Museum of Antiquities, which is part of the Museum of Rouen (and thus, has free admission).
We made a wrong turn or two, which meant that it turned out to be a long walk up Rue Beauvoisine to the museum (we would later learn that one of the buses that stopped near our apartment has a stop on Rue Beauvoisine). But along the way, Therese saw a beautiful print of a typical Rouen scene in an antique store window (we would go back later and buy it), so the walk was not completely fruitless.
Then we arrived at the museum. Once again, for a small museum – one floor and maybe a dozen galleries – this turned out to be full of delights. My favorite was the Medieval and Renaissance part of the collection, with numerous stained glass examples, carved ivories and carved stone capitals. And of course the Deruta plates were magnificent as well.
We spent a couple of hours exploring the museum’s collection and absolutely loving it. And we were pretty much the only people in the museum – I guess it is far enough off the beaten path that most tourists don’t go there. But I am very glad we did.
When we had finished with the Antiquities Museum, we were thirsty. So we made a slight detour on our way back home to the In Situ Cafe, which sits right across the street from the Beaux-arts Museum. We enjoyed some beverages, and the decorative ceiling of the cafe.
Then we walked back to Au P’tit Robec, our apartment in Rouen. I offered to pick us up some take out for dinner, and so later on, I walked over to Ho Lamian (about a block away) to get some Chinese food for us. The restaurant specializes in dishes with hand-pulled noodles, and every time we walk past there in the late afternoon, I would see the chef pounding the noodles on the counter, preparing for the evening’s meals. As you know, Asian food is usually safe territory for us dairy free folks, so I thought, for a change, it would be nice to not have to cook OR worry about where the butter might be hiding in restaurant offerings.
Anyway, we were happy with what we brought away from Ho Lamian. The noodles had a good bit of chew to them, the sauce had that “umami” thing going on, and it turned out to be more than we could finish in one setting (yay, leftovers!). And it was a nice relaxed ending to a full and fun day in Rouen.