Having landed at Tocques in 1417 and besieging and sacking Honfleur, Henry V made his way towards Paris along the banks of the Seine. It seemed only fitting therefore that we follow in his footsteps for our cycle ride today, heading out from Honfleur, we headed east along the south bank of the Seine.
Today the first great monument is the Pont de Normandie. Hanging suspended in mid-air high above our heads. Of course, for Henry and his army, crossing the Seine at this point was only a dream.
Venturing a little further inland towards Foulbec, Henry rested at the Abbey of Greetain (built 1050) whose out-house also still stands by the side of the road showing the original timbers and carvings as well as the beautifully restored brick and stonework.
From there, we crossed the rich countryside that Henry needed to feed his troops.
Even his favourite royal treat, swans. Further along, the banks become wooded and dangerous places offering shelter for ambushes and other traps.
Of course, the real advantage for Henry of following the Seine was re-supply. Boats from England could sail across and restock the soldiers with food and weapons.
plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
All in all, a find day was had by all. Great weather, good company and a real purpose to our ride.