Friday, 14 August 2015

A day in Le Havre

We thought we had been out in strong winds yesterday but we were woken at about 1am by a tremendous squall.  The wind strength must have been about force 10. Although the boat was safe enough in the marina we had to get up from our bunks to secure the furled jib and mizzen sails which were flapping about wildly. We were very glad not to be out at sea.

Today Alice and Allan sadly ran out of time and had to return home on the ferry, having helped us get all the way from the Swale.

Dave and I looked around Le Havre. It is a busy port city but most of the buildings are modern as it was extensively bombed in the Second World War. Pictures taken at the time show widespread devastation, not very different from the pictures of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after the atom bomb attacks; the effects on those unlucky enough to have been in the city at the time cannot have been very different.

Many of the buildings are the bland apartments and office blocks so typical of hasty post war reconstruction. There are however some striking public buildings. The photos show external and interior views of St Joseph's Roman Catholic church; this building, constructed between 1951 and 1958, replaced the original church on the site which had been reduced to rubble. St Joseph's was designed by French architect Auguste Perret who was responsible for much of Le Havre's post-war reconstruction. St Joseph's spire is a prominent feature of the skyline throughout this part of the city and can be seen a long way out to sea.
There was no sailing today due to foggy weather and the need to stock up for the next stage. At present the forecast for the next day or two looks unhelpful, but we feel there are limited attractions for a prolonged stay in Le Havre so we are hoping to move on soon.

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