Sunday, June 10, 2012

Etretat, Martainville and Ry

Remember the other day when I said we were going to Paris for the day??  Remember how I said I am so very unhappy in crowds??? No one who knows me will be surprised by this story: we set off early for Paris and had travelled for about a half hour when we decided that the train, the changes on the metro, the queuing up to buy tickets, the museum itself, and then the re-run of the morning rush to get back home, oh, it was all too much.....  So we turned around went to the coast instead.  I have been to Paris a few times already, and have done the tourist thing, and my guy has been there tons, so we went to Etretat, where Monet had spent quite a bit of time and where he had painted quite a few pictures of les falaises, or the cliffs.

 This is the Port d'Aval...
 This is the Port d'Aval again with l'Aiguille showing more clearly behind it.  I noticed a couple of boats out by the cliffs, so I expect one can take a boat tour and get pictures from closer up, but this was all right.  And it was raining!!!

 This was taken looking toward the Porte d'Amont, in the other direction.  All of these pictures were taken from a walkway along the seafront, right in town.  We had no trouble finding parking, even though it was market day, but we were there pretty early and it was raining.  Still there were lots of tourists there judging from the amount of english we heard spoken.
 Porte l'Aval again, with boats.
This is the Porte d'Amont from a bit closer up and without the boats in the foreground.
 Fortunately there were no lides on the day we were there!!!
 Le Manoir de la Salamandre in Etretat, an example of medieval norman architecture.  Legend has it that the secret of the Philosopher's Stone is hidden in the manor somewhere!!  It is a hotel restaurant now and has been restored in as faithful a manner as possible.  I imagine lots of pictures have been taken of this building.  I took a few more...

 And as we walked around the town a wee bit I spotted these steps.  I love steps.

The next day we explored the region around Fresne-le-Plan, where our gite was situated.  We visited the Chateau de Martainville.  (This is a view of the side of the chateau taken as we were walking toward it.)  This property was purchased by a rich merchant in 1485.  He had made his fortune after the 100 Years War and he built this chateau-fort in an effort to give a sense of past history to his family name and thereby elevate his standing among the nobility.  In its time it was considered very 'modern', a harbinger of the Renaissance and it even had a fireplace in every room.  The chateau is now used as a Museum of Norman Arts and Traditions.

 Nearly every room is filled with materials taken from the history of Normandy, most especially from the time of the construction of the chateau. It is all very interesting.
And it had some lovely steps!!!
 And then we carried on about 10 minutes down the road to a delightful little town called Ry.  The setting for Flaubert's novel, Madame Bovary, is supposedly based on the town of Ry and there is a driving tour one can take of the surrounding area, tracing the various settings of the novel.  The town itself is very sweet and has some lovely shops, but I liked this little hillside best.  A pretty nice crowd I would say!!!
Yesterday we drove to our last gite.  I cannot believe that our trip is nearly over.  Still, over a week to go.  We are just outside of Lille in a little place called Erquinghem-Lys.  We are going to spend a bit of time in Belgium while we are here; for example, Bruges is only a one hour drive away.
Pictures to follow!!!

1 comment:

  1. Lovely photos thank you! We recently visited the memorial Nungesser and Coli on top of the cliffs by the chapel, chasing an view in an old postcard – some pictures here
    It’s a stunning memorial at the place Nungesser and Coli last saw France.
    Also posted is an old postcard of the original memorial blown up in WW2. Memorial styles certainly change!
    We are glad Nungesser and Coli and their bravery are not forgotten.