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ETRETAT is a tourist town north of Paris on the Atlantic. A cosy village previously dominated by fishing and now attracting tourists through it’s rocky and arched coast line.

Many Europeans but also day-tourist flocking in from Paris are stunned by it’s cliffs, old houses and a cute shopping mall offering nothing else than souvenirs in all possible shape and matter. I was surprised seeing so much pro-American stuff knowing the delicate relationship between the 2 countries.

EtretatFor my taste the restaurants in the so-to-speak centre are widely overpriced, but in neighbouring streets you can find local restaurants offering a better service and quality food.

I was asked to place the order for the main dish after having eaten the starter just to be informed when ordering it that now ordering was impossible, as the whole kitchen staff was having it’s break. Long live the service culture and the French 35-hour week!

Otherwise it is truly worth walking along the coast following the trodden path. As always, the farer you get from Etretat, and this is a question of metres not miles, the less you see high-heeled ladies, camera-armed hobby photographers and yelling seagulls. Them indeed have been domesticized to stop eating fish caught on their own, but becoming fond of chips, bread roll and all other kind of human food.

But listening to their yelling on the rooftops is an atmosphere I like very much and is reminding me of my own personal roots.

The municipal camping is small but beautiful and appropriately inexpensive. Sanitary installations cleaned every day. Unfortunately there is no shopping for snacks or such like, so you have to walk 15 minutes to the nearest shops. Or you take the little train, which again I find too expensive. People mainly stay 2-3 days during which you are easily able to see all what is to see, before they move on to nearby Le Havre or Fercamp. But apart from more shopping possibilities I see no other advantage being there instead of Etretat.

There are good cycling possibilities, but no cycling roads next to the street, so beware of crazy drivers all day round. but having once passed the French Alps by bicycle, this here is easy to manage.

It was a good time out. Could have been cheaper, but you don’t go travelling for saving money.

Will keep that place in mind and go there again!