Well, after all my planning and preparations, I missed out on a lot. During the city walk in Rouen, I fell down. Lionel Auber, the PD for the red group, was walking right behind me and he said that I was watching where I was going, but that a cobblestone was sticking out (or something) and the toe of my shoe hit it. And down I went! Lionel called for the emergency services and an ambulance came with three EMTs who checked me over and decided I should go to the hospital. The doctor there did more checking, put some surgical glue on a cut and told me to keep it dry.
So I didn't take any of the city walks or do any exploring on my own, especially if there were cobblestones, of which there are a lot in these old cities. I'd been to Conflans, Vernon, Giverny and Les Andelys by that time. And I'm so glad I didn't miss them.
Two days after I fell, we went to the Normandy Invasion sites and the American Cemetery. I managed that with help from the nicest group of people I've ever traveled with. Everyone was so solicitous and ready with an arm or a hand. The experience at the Cemetery was very moving, and I'm sure I wasn't the only person who cried. That was July 14th, Bastille Day, and their were fireworks all over the country. We went up to the sun deck on the Bizet and watched from about 11:30, and they were spectacular.
The last day of the main tour, we went to Caen to visit the Peace Memorial. Another moving experience and worth more time than was available to us. Then we split up, our group to head to Brittany and the other two to the airport either to fly home the next day or to London for the post-trip extension.
Brittany was charming, but I can't say much about Mont St. Michel since I only went a little way up. The guide there was the least satisfactory of any on our tour. She refused to slow down in spite of repeated requests. The next day we left for Paris, stopping in Chartres to visit the Cathedral, with the most spectacular stained glass I've ever seen. It's a miracle that it's survived over the centuries.
Food was wonderful everywhere, which is to be expected since this is France. The Bizet is smaller than other GCCL river ships I've traveled on, but it has everything. And great crew and staff. And we had three wonderful Program Directors - Lionel Auber, Eva Bickerton, and Nadege Nechadi.
I may, or may not, write a review on the other page since I'm really turned off by the new format.
I've spoken with Trip Mate, and there's nothing to do at this point unless, or until, I receive a bill from the hospital in Rouen. They didn't want me to sign anything (and I asked), so I don't know whether I will receive anything. The coverage for that remains active for a long time. But any medical expenses I incur now will be covered by my own insurance. So apart from some really colorful bruises on my face, I'm fine. They will fade eventually.