Returning to Étretat
When I was 16 years old, I had an opportunity to go on a ten day trip to Northern France through my high school! Though I feel like I wasn’t old/mature enough to truly appreciate it, the trip was amazing. We went to Paris (of course!) and then proceeded to other areas in the north. There are bits that I remember more vividly than others. The one town that absolutely stuck out to me was Étretat!
In this town we had a lot of free time. I broke off from the group with a couple friends and we climbed up to the top of one of the falaises and explored! While up on the right side of the cliffs, I took the pictures above.
Two study abroads and a work visa later, I’m back in France! My dad, stepmother, and half bro came to visit for a week and a half in March. They had a rental car for the visit so my dad suggested we go to this town while they were here! It was amazing to revisit, and extra special to have my dad, stepmother, and half bro with me. When we arrived it was actually so foggy we couldn’t even see past a couple yards in front of us! Luckily after lunch the fog slowly started to burn away.
We were absolutely on a mission to re-take a picture of me overlooking the cliffs and ocean. I wasn’t sure if I’d remembered the location of the photo correctly. It had been nine years after all! However, as soon as we began the climb up the stairs to the path along the cliffs I knew we were in the right place. I’d just like to say that the climb up these falaises is no joke. According to my dad’s phone, we climbed the equivalent of 20 flights this day!
When we found the proper spot, Melissa and I left my dad at the top with the baby half-bro to climb down because the stairs down to this smaller cliff are really narrow and dangerous. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty terrified sticking my legs over this cliff for the photo! I suppose I was more brave at 16 than I am at 25! The overlook was WAY higher up than I had remembered.
Anywho, we got the photo! I did take one looking out wistfully as well, but I like the smiling one better. 😀 The time of day was obviously different, as you can see from the backlighting/glare that kind of takes away from the background. But I’m not picky! What you can’t tell is that to take the photo from this angle, my stepmother was legitimately standing on a three foot wide path that drops off on BOTH sides with nothing to hold on to. I was happy to just have a photo and live to show it! The photo is taken from the lower cliff on the bottom right photo:
We also explored the small town of Étretat, which I don’t recall doing the last time. The town itself is adorable! After the long hike downhill, Mikey passed out in his stroller so we grabbed a drink on the seaside and enjoyed the sunny weather. It was a perfect day, and I’m really happy that we visited.
I still haven’t journeyed up the left side where there are more cliffs but this leaves a great excuse to come back again! 😛
Seems like a lot of fun! Étretat looks really beautiful would like to explore it someday.
One day I would like to travel all across Europe. I hear it’s all beautiful. Thanks for sharing those amazing photos.
Mira - The Handy Journal
Absolutely love this ! Added to the list! I think this is one of the places that people don’t give enough credits for ! Thanks for sharing !
Ellen Mika Zelasko
Great post! I have always thought you can’t go back. But you’ve proved me wrong with this post. Love your insight!
This is such a beautiful post, thanks for sharing your memories!
France is known to be a beautiful country to start with the nature scenery around Étretat is just lovely! No wonder you wanted to go back again and show your loved ones. Plus, I agree that seeing something as an adult is totally different to seeing it with the eyes of a child or adolescent. Love how you left the other side for your next trip – definitely worth another visit when you are next in the neighborhood!
I have never been lucky enough to visit any place I visited during my school days, but if I could, it will have to be Barcelona or Rome.Having said that, France is beautiful and I`m happy for you that you could revisit.
I’ve been reading that France have many beautiful coastal roads. It is lovely that you visited your old favorite place.
What a gorgeous place! A different vibe to the France most people know 🙂
I love your photos! I love to hike and camp outside.
I love your photos and the journeys you embark upon. I just don’t have the financial throw it all to the wind mentality to just travel like that. But I would if I could .
I do enjoy your journeys and photos.
Love the photos. That senery is beautiful.