This image is from my first trip to Etrétat in March/April 2012.
This window had a diameter of approximately 1,50m and was cut in the chalk cliff. A small path led to this place. We’re about 80m above the sea and no fence is between me and the sea. The ground you can see in the im image is the floor I’m standing on. I’m approximately half a meter away from the edge. What a strange feeling!
When I was in this place again in August 2015, only a few remains were visible. Lots of chalk were already eroded.
Now we are in Fécamp. A small town with a quite big and interesting harbour. The slideshow has some images taken along the cliff and a few from the harbour. From a photographers perspective, the town itself is not so interesting. but, there are a few restaurants with a fantastic view over the ocean.
Come here in the late afternoon and enjoy the lights in the harbour. You can also watch the fishermen bringing their catch home.
From Étretat you can walk along the cliffs either north or south. When walking south, you’ll reach the estuary of the river Seine and Le Havre.
In northern direction, you can get to Yport or Fécamp. It’s a very nice path along the cliff. The ocean to your left and farmlands to your right. You can get on the track easily from the promenade of Étretat. On both sides of the beach, there are paths and stairs to reach the top of the cliff.
It’s about 9 km from Étretat to Yport and another 9 km from Yport to Fécamp.
A warning: have an eye for the edge of the cliff. The path is often very near to the edge of the cliff. So, you might come in danger of falling down, when the soil under the grass is rinsed or eroded. A chalk cliff is very soft and gives room to wind and rain very easy.
Another product you can buy in Étretat is goat cheese. Despite the goat ranch is only a few hundreds of meter away from the center of the village, I didn’t found their cheese on the local market. But, I found it in a few local stores and even in the local supermarket, a member of a huge chain – what a surprise.
But, from the beginning 🙂
On top of the cliff (landwards from the part called Les falaises d’Etretat) you can find a goat ranch. You can visit the ranch. They have visiting hours for the farm itself and they have a shop with some interesting products made from goat milk: ice cream, chocolate, pralines and of course their cheese. I’d recommend have a walk to the farm, taste some of their products and walk bat to the village. You can easily make a round trip by walking up to the barm by following the roads and then head to the coast to follow the cliffs back to the village.
I like the pralines and the cheese. It’s a kind of cream cheese sized like a flattened tennis ball. You can get it at an age of 3 days, 1 week or 3 weeks. The older the cheese is, the more solid it is because it loosens moisture. I liked the 3 day old most. The older the stronger. 🙂
I already wrote some posts on french farmers markets and how different they are compared to ours here in Germany. So, I included only a short gallery without writing much about it.
In Étretat the market does not only have stands for vegetables and fruits. You can also buy different kinds of cheese, meat, sausages, soap and even clothing.
A place, usually used as a parking ground, in the center of the village is used for the market on friday mornings. It’s always interesting to see all the products and even taste some of them.
So, simply enjoy the gallery below. 🙂 – please be patient, wordpress needs some time to load the gallery :(, I don’t know , why
In the 1870s there was a revolution in painting in France. Claude Monet, a french painter (1840-1926) came to Honfleur, a very small town in Normandy. He came to Honfleur for an exhibition and for painting, where his style of painting impressed the visitors very much. A newspaper editor took the name of one of his paintings “Impression, soleil levant” (Impression, Sunrise), to name his review of that exhibition: “L’Exposition des Impressionnistes”. He has not the only painter working in this style, that was faced harsh opposition from the conventional art community in France.
Impressionist painting characteristics include relatively small, thin, yet visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis on accurate depiction of light in its changing qualities (often accentuating the effects of the passage of time), ordinary subject matter, inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience, and unusual visual angles. (from wikipedia)
Claude Monet liked to paint in Normandy, especially in Le Havre, Honfleur and Étretat. He loved the special light here at the sea.
Two of his paintings of the natural monuments of Étretat are set up as weatherproof reproduction copies at the beach of Étretat. They stand in the locations, where Claude Monet has stood to create these painting.
I like this idea to bring the art back to its origin.
In my last posts I wrote about the Alabaster Coast in a more general style. I wrote about the materials and so on from a ‘technical’ point of view. But, because of these facts, the coast became interesting for many, many visitors. People are interested in seeing the natural monuments created by erosion. So, many, many tourists come to the coast every year.
Although, there are some more interesting places, I’m focusing here on the part of the coast around Étretat.
When standing on the beach in Étretat you can find several monuments. I start on the right. Here we have “La Falaise d’Amont”, it’s the smallest of the three gates. On your left, we have “L’Arche et l’Aiguille”, the big arch and the rock needle behind. Further left, not visible from the beach itself, we have the huge gate “La Manneporte”. In the gallery below, you can find one image with a person standing inside La Manneporte. See, how tiny she is 🙂
When climbing up the cliff to you left, you’ll come the a group of rock needles in the cliff, the “Chambre des Demoiselles” (room of the virgins). Their story is like this: three virgins were kidnaped and locked in a cave because they refused to marry him. After three days and nights muted in the cave, an old woman saw three angel-like apparitions ascending to the sky.
Another monument is accessible from the beach, a huge natural cave. Although, the entrance of the cave is below the water at flood time, the cave has natural emergency places to wait for low-tide and come back to Étretat safely.
The Côte d’Albâtre (literally the Alabaster Coast) is part of the French coast of the English Channel. It takes its name from the white hue of its high chalk cliffs, which stretch for over 120 km, dominating most of the coastline. It is part of the same geological system as the White Cliffs of Dover on the other side of the English Channel.
The cliffs consist primarily of white chalk and flintstones. They are between 75 and 105m high. Below, you can find many, many round washed and polished stones, once embedded in the chalk, but now forming the beaches, because of wind and water have eroded the chalk. So, the remaining flintstones form the beaches.
The Côte d’Albâtre was a favourite subject of Impressionist painters, including Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and was frequented by composers associated with sea such as Claude Debussy and Albert Roussel. Other artists who painted the coastline include Gustave Courbet and Eugène Boudin.
I told you about my trip to Étretat last year. Now, it’s time to show you some more images and tell you, why it’s worth a visit.
Étretat is a small town near Le Havre in Normandy in France. There are a lot of different things to discover in Normandy. Some of them are already here in my blog from past trips. Just use the tag “normandie” to find them 🙂
This little series is dedicated to the village and the direct surroundings. For an introduction, I’d recommend to read my previous post on Étretat first.
Despite its small amount of inhabitants, you can find all necessary shops in Étretat, like butcher, 3 bakeries, fish shop, a supermarket, post office, pharmacy, banks and a hairdresser (many some more, but I don’t remember) and some gift shops as well as different kinds of restaurants. On Fridays there is a farmers market in the middle of the village so give you access to some more products. A nice place to stay, when retired.
Now, enjoy a trip through the town and imagine the slight smell of the near ocean. 🙂 The gallery below has 40 images – enjoy!
For this week, I picked an image taken last summer in France. At the end of a storm, the sun promised to come back. It’s my contribution to the Monochrome Madness Challenge organized by Leanne Cole, a photographer based in Melbourne, Australia.
Here you can see the waves rolling on the beach at the end of a storm and the iconic rocks of Etretat to the left. These chalk cliffs are part of the Alabaster Coast in the Normandy. I’m standing on a small platform about 3 or 4 meters above the beach, where I was able to overlook the scene way better, than from the beach itself (although the beach is quite steep down to the waterline).
This image of the fantastic Alabaster coast in Normandy, France, is my contributions for this weeks Monochrome Madness organized by the Australian photographer Leanne Cole. Each week you can find many fantastic monochrome images at her site.
This week’s topic for the weekly photo challenge by “The Daily Post” is “treat”
Clean water, clean environment, healthy food as well as physical and mental health. These are the true treats. Preserve and patronize them!
(as usual, you can see the photo enlarged, when clicking in it)
Back to France for this week’s Monochrome Madness hold by Leanne Cole.
You know, I came back from my vacation in Étretat, Normandy, the week before last. I really love the iconic cliffs here. They were cut out of the clay rocks by rain, frost, wind and the ocean waves.
This image was taken at a beautiful warm afternoon with only very mild wind. So, I got these nice reflections in the tide pond. It’s not a real pond. There are many rocks in the water. They are keeping the waves away from the pond. Unfortunately, when the water is away, the bigger pieces of rock rise out of the water and disturb the reflections, while the waves disturb the reflections while the water level is higher. (and: you won’t reach this place while high tide).
In Normany you have very big differences between low tide and high tide. In Étretat the difference is about 6 m, further south (around Mont Saint Michel) it’s even about 9 m. That’s the dark band at the bottom of the bright rocks.
from the sea. 🙂 Where from else? 🙂
I did it again! What? I re-visited Étretat, Normandy, France. In April 2012 I was here with some friends. We visited many parts of the Normandy. You can find more about that trip here in my blog.
Étretat is a small town, not far away from Le Havre. It has only 1440 citizens. Étretat is best known for its impressive cliffs, including three natural arches and the rock needle. The cliffs consist of chalk and flint-stones. Two of the three famous arches are seen from the town, the Porte d’Aval (left of the beach, with the needle), and the Porte d’Amont (right from the beach). The Manneporte (left of Porte d’Aval) is the third and the biggest one. But, it can’t be seen from the town (but in my photos). The coast is called Alabaster Coast, because of its color. The beaches consist of round pebbles, mostly flint-stones. The flint-stones are embedded in the chalk and fall into the ocean, when rain and storm dissolve the chalk. The constant movement in the ocean than grinds the stones to pebbles. Chalk is a quite soft kind of rock and very sensitive for water. Thus, chalk coasts have to be preserved from needless stress. Other famous chalk coast in Europe among others are in South-England around Dover and the German island Rügen in the Baltic Sea. The chalk was generated during the Cretaceous period at the bottom of a lake. The origin of the embedded flint-stones is not completely clarified and resolved.
This time, we’ve had a vacation-house in the old town of Étretat, instead of outside on top of the cliffs. A well renovated old fisherman’s house about 100m from the ocean, and less half the way as the bird flies. When we arrived, we were greeted by a wonderful warm, sunny day. Unfortunately the next days were overcasted and sometimes rainy. But, we were outside despite the weather. In 2012 I was quite disappointed about the waves. I expected to see big waves, because we’re here at the Atlantic ocean. But, the waves were smaller than those at the North-Sea or even the Baltic Sea. This time we were able to see impressive waves, dramatic sunsets and of course the really awesome cliffs at both sides of the beach.
Because of the location of our vacation home, inside the old-town of Étretat, we didn’t need our car very often. Instead, we only used it once for a trip to Giverny. That’s the home and garden from the french impressionistic painter Claude Monet (1840 – 1926). All the other time we left the car in the parking ground. When we were visiting Giverny, the weather changed and we got sunny days again for the rest of our stay. Although the town and the beach are so small and you could assume to have seen everything in only a few hours. There is much more to discover and enjoy.
Although, this was more a family vacation than a photo trip, I certainly took my camera with me. I love to see the different light situations during the day or from day-to-day. Also, the tide changes the ambience. And, so you can get many different photos although you stayed in only one place. Every evening I developed a few photos. Thus, you can have a small overview right now in the gallery below.
(I don’t know, why the slideshow needs such a long time to load – sorry for that)