North to Normandy

We have left Paris, and I preface this entry with the promise to expand on my adventures there once I am more permanently settled. But for now, onward. After a night’s stay with friends in the Parisian suburb of Fourqueux, we journeyed 3 1/2 hours north to Normandy, where I currently write from a beautiful seaside inn overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Our first stop of the day was in beautiful Rouen, a city touted for its medieval architecture and exquisite gothic cathedrals. In 1431, Joan of Arc was burned alive in its main square. The whole town breathes with history, and as I strolled through its narrow, winding streets I felt I had traveled back centuries.

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Église Saint-Maclou
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Mural of Joan of Arc

After a quick picnic, we continued on to our main destination: Etretat. It is a seaside town along the northern coast of France, best known for magnificent cliffs and natural arches immortalized in the paintings of Monet and Courbet.

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img_2876We arrived just before sundown and immediately made our way to the beach. As we headed to one of the arches, we noticed a half-hidden cave with dubious-looking infrastructure. We couldn’t help but do some impromptu scrambling.

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Rusty ladder? Sign me up.

1r8c0491And that is precisely how we ended up here:

1r8c0480In closing, Etretat is beautiful. And with that, good night.

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The Blue Hour in Etretat

 

 

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