European Travel and the Coronavirus
MSC Preziosa Cruise Photos
Day 4: Le Havre, France
BELOW: On Tuesday, September 10, we arrived in the port of Le Havre shortly before 7 a.m.
Le Havre is France's second-biggest port after Marseille.
Durant first visited Le Havre in 1966 on the S.S. France, when a "boat train" still carried transatlantic passengers directly from the ship terminal to Paris. Since then, we've been to Le Havre together a number of times over the years.
(One time, while traveling from New York to Bremerhaven on the Soviet transatlantic liner MS Mikhail Lermontov, we took our two dogs ashore for the day.)
BELOW: MSC Preziosa was docked in short order, with AIDAperla--a German cruise ship--moored in the next berth. (This photo shows a reflection in a window on MSC Preziosa's sun deck.)
BELOW: After breakfast, we went ashore and followed the signs to downtown Le Havre. The walk would have taken only 15 or 20 minutes if we hadn't stopped repeatedly to take pictures and enjoy the sights.
BELOW: As we approached the city proper, we encountered a massive sculpture in a waterfront park.
The sculpture, by Vincent Ganivet, is titled "" and was installed in 2017 to celebrate Le Havre's 500th birthday.
BELOW: The sculpture consists of two arches assembled from shipping containers. It's fun to look at, and adventurous children (or their parents) can use it as a playground.
BELOW: Beyond the waterfront park, we could see examples of apartment and office buildings that were erected in the wake of World War II bombings.
The vast urban redevelopment project, which took place from 1945 to 1964 under the direction of UNESCO Outstanding Heritage Site in 2016., was named a
BELOW: Thanks to regular maintenance, the attractive modern buildings in central Le Havre still look as they did in the mid-Twentieth Century.
BELOW: We quickly cut inland to an older example of Le Havre architecture, Notre-Dame Cathedral. The entrance was boarded up for a renovation project, but posters on the temporary walls told us what we were missing (and what we'd see on our next visit).
BELOW: We went inside the cathedral, which was open for business during renovation.
BELOW: While construction workers worked elsewhere in the church, a young woman (presumably an art restorer) was busy with a lightbox.
BELOW: After visiting the cathedral, we walked a few blocks to Le Volcan, an arts center designed by Oscar Niemeyer. The project, which opened in 1982, consists of two buildings that resemble volcanoes (or, possibly, nuclear-power plants).
BELOW: Just across the street from Le Volcan, locals and visitors were enjoying a fountain at the B.
BELOW: Immediately behind the basin was Le Havre's, which honors the 6,638 city residents (both military and civilian) who were killed in World War I, World War II, Algeria, and Indochina.
BELOW: During a bathroom stop at a downtown shopping mall, we couldn't resist sampling the local croissants.
BELOW: Next, we crossed Le Havre's new tramway, which opened in 2012 and features grass-lined tracks.
BELOW: Just beyond the tram tracks were the Town Hall.and the
BELOW: It was midday, and we were feeling peckish again. We cut
through the downtown business district (with more August Perret-era architecture) to a bakery in the
Centrales, or central market, where we could replenish our fats and carbs.
BELOW: We continued west along the Avenue Foch and its tramway. Along the way, we encountered the temporary "" by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm, which should be gone by the time you read this.
BELOW: Inside, the Narrow House lived up to its name.
BELOW: The Avenue Foch led us to Le Havre's huge public, where one area had a warning sign to protect French-speaking pedestrians and bathers. (Monolingual foreigners needed to rely on their phrasebooks.)
BELOW: What looked like an enormous lifeguard's chair in the
distance turned out to be a sculpture,
BELOW: To the south, a breakwater protected Le Havre's downtown
BELOW: In one of the marina harbor's deeper sections, children
were returning to land from a sailing class.
BELOW: In this view, you can see the marina, buildings along Le Havre's oceanfront promenade, and two cruise ships: AIDAperla and MSC Preziosa.
BELOW: Our Norwegian-speaking daughter was studying Mandarin for a diplomatic assignment in China, so this juxtaposition of flags along the waterfront seemed prescient:
BELOW: On our way back to the ship, we passed
MuMa, the city's museum of modern
art. The port headquarters and control tower were next door.
BELOW: As we approached the Bassin de la Manche, we caught a glimpse of a Brittany Ferries ship heading to England. (Getting a usable photo wasn't easy in the harsh sunlight.)
BELOW: There were plenty of viewpoints along the, which we followed back to the city center's waterfront park and the cruise terminals.
The promenade alongside the park was named "Quai de Southampton," in honor of the city we'd be visiting the next day.
BELOW: That evening, as MSC Preziosa sailed for
Southhampton, we enjoyed scenic views of Le Havre from the railing on Deck 15.
Next page: Southampton
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