One day in the sun at Etretat – 3499km

by bretzelitos

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.