We saw Le Havre twice, on Thursday before the game and Friday morning as we drove through.
Thursday we were in Montivilliers, a suburb, to catch a bus to the stadium since parking is trouble.
They had their own church that had been a hospital. William the Conqueror, more about that in another post!
Nice self-guided walk around the grounds. Pretty standard old church that is no longer a tourist destination.
We thought we learned our lesson-stadium food is terrible, each beforehand. But of course nothing much is open between full on lunch and full on dinner (which starts at 7, but the game starts at 5:30, bad timing!). Luckily there was a kebab shop in the square and it was delicious. The only other folks walking around were kids on the way home and other Americans in town for the game.
Yup, it's old.
Friday after the game we leave Etrate and drive through Le Havre.
Rather than stop at the local cathedral, we go to St. Joseph's church. A coastal, shipping city, much of Le Havre was destroyed in WWII. This church was completely rebuilt in the 50s. This tower dominates the skyline and is a symbolic lighthouse.
The architect, Perret, loved concrete and loved to show its functionality. So the outside seems a bit severe. I like it though and it ages well.
Almost no representational art inside.
In place of a baptismal font there is a pool. The picture is poor, but those are steps on the 3 sides, the center is maybe where the water drains out? And that is a chain in front so keep folks from falling in.
There is stained glass.
It's just that none of it is what we are used to in churches. No story at all. Instead the colors and placements convey feelings. Mainly awe. And boy does it work. This is how one is meant to feel in a church. Read all about the designer, Marguerite Huré or more specifics on St. Joseph's church. I would read a book about her!
The color comes into the church.
The light changes throughout the day. I would totally bring a book and hang out here for hours to see it change.
The best I can do :(
Anyway!! The architect Auguste Perret did much of the rebuilding of Le Havre, including this auditorium nicknamed The Volcano. We just did a drive by, but I bet the inside is cool.
I'm not sure if these are functional or art. They look functional since those seem to be stairs, but I don't know what for!
Being a port city, Le Havre is all about bridges. This one goes over the mouth of the Seine. Looks super cool! A bit scary if you are afraid of heights, it is pretty exposed and very tall for all the big ships to get underneath.
But on the other side is a beach town. But kind of strange. The downtown is all seaside embarcadero with shops and snacks, feeling like a pier. It was packed, including school groups. The actual beach is a couple miles away and deserted.
There is the main industrial side of Le Havre across the water. Not the most appealing view for a day at the beach.
The back side of the beach also doesn't feel quite right.
I think it is a manufactured beach. Giant tire tracks all up and down the beach. Some of the scraped parts were more mud than sand. hmmm, A for effort.
We got to Bayeux that evening and after a lovely early dinner walked about the town. They were celebrating the solstice and people were everywhere. Every other corner had a musician, everything from folk songs to U2 covers to a girl and her guitar. Really lovely.