Sven and Andreas' vacations – Published for friends at Wordpress :)

Etretat, Fecamp, Dieppe, Rambouillet – 3774km

I woke up at 0830 after having been interrupted several times in the night – the worst was the community waste collection truck at 0320 at night passing through with its noisy diesel engine. As I slept with open windows to enjoy the lovely salty seaside air, this got amplified a lot.

After taking my usual morning toiletry and having breakfast in the hotel, French style, I decided to have a look after Bretzelmobil immediately. That parking place, I thought, was not really a good one to let it sleep there overnight. But, as always when you are more cautious than necessary, my fears were not reasonable.

So I checked out of the hotel and decided to start driving right away as the weather was cloudy now with patches of rain. As one of my work colleagues suggested earlier to consider also Dieppe as possible one-day-trip-to-the-sea target, I decided to go there and have a look, stopping shortly at Fecamp on the way.

Dieppe has the size of Rambouillet approximately and is spread out along the seaside, including sea harbour with ferry lines to the UK and some remains of castle fortresses close to the ever present white cliffs in this region. Parking places are easily available, directly at the beach which consists also of pebbles.

After having lunch at the Casino restaurant with a nice view over the beach and a little walk on the promenade with some really dark clouds around, I took Bretzelmobil to drive back to Rambouillet via Rouen and the A13. After Rouen, the weather got really worse and it started to rain cats and dogs. Not easy to drive on A13 – especially as many drivers did not select the right lighting for this type of weather – from full scale fog lights with high beam in front to nothing at all. Once you have to put up your hand in front of your face not to get the bright light mirrored from everywhere into your eyes, next time you just need to avoid a car appearing out of nothing behind the spray of a lorry with no lights in use at all – just in time, luckily not too late.

Back here in Rambouillet, I had a nice dinner at home and started cleaning up my flat.



One day in the sun at Etretat – 3499km

I had a look at my weather app and decided right away. The only partially sunny day in Etretat of this week is today – I need to go… now!

And I wanted to stay overnight, so I have booked a room in Hotel des Falaises, opposite of Le Galion restaurant, via on the spot. I was quite surprised to see that rooms were still available as I consider this time of the year as Extreme High Season for tourism in Etretat.

The ride was uneventful via A13 and Pont du Tancarville. This time, I decided to go directly to Etretat as I was already late at around 1100.

Too late – with regards to parking. The usual parking place that we take was already full and the cars were lined up along the western inbound road towards Etretat minimum a kilometer away of city limits in any direction – including campers. So, no chance this time, but I needed to park Bretzelmobil in the no-fee parking zone just behind the last houses of the southern Etretat area. Means, a 1.5 km walk towards the beach – but no other chance at all.

As expected and seen in the parking situation, Etretat was full of tourists. I went straight to the hotel check in, got my basic room and continued by looking for a place to eat. Not so easy this time, all places were taken at Le Galion and La Salamandre, so I went to the large restaurant just before – La Taverne des Deux Augustins – and had to wait for one hour to get my food. Some interesting scenes were on display at this place – well noted during my wait time.

  1. An Italian family of six people wanted to have a table that was foreseen for four people only – and got kindly rejected as there was no place available for six at all, followed by some very picturesque Italian swearing in the direction of the public, god and finally themselves. They walked off in anger and came back after 15 minutes, queuing and waiting without a word until they got a table – inside this time. Obviously, they were not able to find anything else.
  2. A German couple just skipped the queue and sat down at an empty table, complaining about no service for 15 minutes and finally been shooed off to the end of the waiting line by a waiter for occupying an unassigned table. They wandered off in disbelief.

I need to say, it is not a problem of communication, but of respect and adjustment to the visiting country’s costumes and organization. And the people there were really working like little cats to cope with all the international guests as best as they can. They had a full house and were advising incoming guests politely that the meal preparation time will be at least one hour after order.

Right to the beach thereafter as fast as I could.

Three times into the water, swimming out towards the little platform. And drying off in the sun – getting some nice color on my skin. The water was immaculate as always, this time even luckily without any jelly fish of any kind. And, as we had full moon, the tidal difference was considerably higher than normal. At full low tide, loads of sandy patches became visible in the pebble beach area and herds of children immediately gathered around it – building sand castles for their princesses in true fantasy.

I took dinner in Le Galion which was, to my surprise, not fully booked. Excellent as always, no need to say.

Afterwards, I took a little walk on the promenade and returned back to my hotel room short thereafter.