Today we’re in Le Havre, what appears to be a relatively industrial enclave on the Normandy coast. The ship docks within seeing distance of the city centre – but it’s at least a mile to walk into the town.

The city is overwhelmingly grey, undoubtedly a result of post-war reconstruction that heavily favoured concrete. This is not a pretty town – if you want something more visibly attractive, Honfleur is supposed to be nicer and it’s not too far away by bus.

Top tip: The Normandy coast saw some of the most vicious fighting towards the end of WW2. Dark tourists may want to check out the D Day landing beaches which are located to the south of the city.

On the way into town we grab a few geocaches, including a fun one in a puzzle box under a bridge. Sadly there’s not much by way of sights in the town – and we have arrived near lunchtime as all the stores shut for an hour or two. The place feels deserted.

Top tip: Most cruise lines advertise this port as Le Havre – Paris. Don’t be fooled – it’s almost two hours drive to the French capital. Even the cruise ship excursion staff have a hard time selling their trips because you have almost no time to see anything in Paris. Our advice? Don’t bother.

We make our way to the faithfully restored Cathédrale Notre-Dame which still bears some scars of bombing and fighting in 1944-45. However, inside we discover something quite incredible:

In one of the side chapels is a fairly standard crucifix. However, the photograph besides reveals something quite astonishing – Jesus was the only thing to have survived the heavy bombardment of the Cathedral in September 1944. The only damage he sustained? A gash on his side, just as described in the New Testament book of John.

It has to be said, Le Havre does have a more famous church to visit, but we found this undocumented piece of history particularly fascinating.

Afterwards we retire to L’Havrais Bière, a local brewpub serving its own beers. With six to eight ales to choose from, there’s something for everyone – and my cloudy IPA is pretty decent. Then it’s the long walk back to the ship…

Sadly, we’re back in Southampton tomorrow. But we have Norway, Iceland and Poland coming up in May…