After a year of ocean wandering EUROPA is back in European waters. From the famous port of Horta, on the Azores, we will set sail towards the European mainland, through the English Channel. In the Channel we will sail past the islands of Guernsey and Jersey, until we reach the port of Le Havre on our port side. Here we will sail up the river Seine, through a national park towards the historic city of Rouen. We will be just in time to participate in the last days of the Armada Rouen, meeting the other Tall Ships, before we set sail home to Scheveningen. Armada Rouen coincides with the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the liberation of occupied territory in Northwestern Europe.
The nine Portuguese islands, dominated by a volcanic mountain range, offer a rare and unspoiled natural beauty. There are meadows filled with the scent of wild herbs and vivid, colourful flowers line the roads. It is quite the perfect setting to relax. The Azores are also a perfect place to watch whales and different species of dolphins.
Horta is the capital city of the Island Faial, also called Ilha Azul (blue island). The blooming Hydrangea are found everywhere on the island, creating a blue see of flowers in June and July. Horta has a popular marina for sailing vessels that are on a transatlantic voyage. Horta's renowned marina amongst sailors has become an open-air gallery of colourful painted murals by sailing crew before departing on their next voyage.
Rouen is a French city which can be reached by sailing up the Seine River. The city is the capital of the Normandy region and was one of the richest cities during the Middle Ages.
The city was founded by a Gaulish tribe and was already important during Roman times. In 841 A.D. the city was overrun by Vikings, but the foundations of the Roman amphitheater and thermae can still be found today. Due to its favorable location on the river, the city prospered and gained richer as the textile industry grew, along with the export of wine and wheat to England.
In 1431 the city was the stage for a very known moment in history, the trial and burning of Joan of Arc. During this time the city was the capital of the English power in occupied France and most of the residents supported the enemies of Joan, who had her executed.The harbor of Rouen has always been important for the development and wealth of the city. Goods were exported to and from whole of Europe and from the 16th century the port became the main French port for trade with the New World, mostly Brazil.
During the First World War Rouen was used by the British as a supply base and there were many military hospitals.
In the Second World War, almost half of the city was destroyed, by both German and allied forces. German troops did not allow firemen to extinguish the fire around Rouen Cathedral, which burned for 48 hours. The Cathedral and other monuments were also severely damaged by allied bombings.