Whew, I had a busy weekend. Haven’t been at my flat for most of the days, since I was out traveling and whatnot.
Spent both Saturday and Sunday mostly out of town; it was very fortunate that the weather was so nice. Seriously, the sun was shining. I repeat, it was shining. That appears to be a rarity in northern France, as it had been cloudy and raining for the past week since I had arrived. 😛
In any case, I was out and about on Saturday with one of my colleagues, who works at one of the schools that I will be teaching at. She had called me up the evening before to invite me to spend the afternoon with her, touring the Haute-Normandie region. Considering that I had nothing to do that day, and considering that I was eager to go out and explore while I could, I accepted her invitation.
Saturday rolled around, and my colleague picked me up around 11:30 am from my flat. She had a car (which was a godsend, for it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without a car. Perhaps take the bus, but I didn’t want to pay for riding it anymore than I needed to. #transportationstruggles). 😛
My colleague lives in the countryside, and so she drove for about twenty minutes before we reached her house to have some lunch. Her house is this charming, barn-style place with a huge backyard and everything. I also got to meet her four (large!) dogs, as well as her cat.
We had a simple, but hearty lunch of country bread, melon, leftover pork roast, some *incredible* cheese that she had gotten from central France, and a home-baked lemon-curd tart. Pretty good food, and I appreciated that she offered all of these dishes to me. Yum! 😛
After lunch, we got back in the car and drove some more towards Étretat, a town-city on the coast of Normandy that is best-known for its gorgeous cliffs, or “falaises” in French. My colleague asked if I wanted to hike to the cliffs or just take the scenic drive over there. Considering that I had a good, full lunch, I thought that I could use some exercise to burn it off! As a result, we parked a bit further from the main, touristy area, and set off on foot towards the cliffs.
The path that we took before the hiking trail was quiet and serene. Not to forget absolutely gorgeous: never did the countryside look so green, especially when the sun was up. Definitely a nice change from the cold gloom of the rain. There were plenty of wild plants growing in the area, including cabbage and mulberries.
As for wildlife, we came across some donkeys! 😀
Finally began our ascent to the cliffs- and trust me, it was actually quite tricky! Not only were there steep slopes, but also the paths were super grassy and rocky (made from flint stones). Some of the rain that was left over from the previous days made some mud puddles, and so we also had to step around them as we walked. Being a city girl, I was not used to this type of trail. But my mind was set on viewing those amazing cliffs, and so I didn’t mind get a bit sweaty and tired.
And voilà! We made it to the cliffs of Étretat! They looked just as beautiful as what I had seen on Tumblr, if not even better, considering that I was seeing them in person. Took plenty of photos of those iconic, white cliffs overlooking a blue-green sea. The contrast in colors was absolutely stunning.
Really, my mind was blown by the sheer beauty of it all. I was so glad that we had decided to go to Étretat that day, as well as being blessed that the weather made it worthwhile to visit. Definitely a place to cross off my bucket list! ❤
Afterwards, we went down to the promenade, where plenty of tourists were walking around, enjoying the lovely weather and lovely sights of the coastline. Bought a few small souvenirs for my family, and had a drink at a cafe near the seaside before heading back all of the way to where we had started (no shortcuts!).
The hike back wasn’t as treacherous (but still quite steep!), and we finally arrived back at the parking lot. Got into the car, and drove back to my colleague’s house for another brief drink before she dropped me off at my flat in the evening. Tired, but happy, I definitely felt accomplished for the day. 🙂
More adventures in Normandy to come soon: stay tuned!
— The Finicky Cynic
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