A daily trip to Etretat, feeling the power of the ocean
Our trip started at the beginning of April 2018 with the spring music vibes and sun, that warmed up our frozen souls. We decided to spend one month at Normandy, cold but the magic region of France, in the city Rouen, near the most popular spot - Etretat. Before we came there, we read a lot about Normandy and its spirit, and we truly believed, that it would be cloudy weather for a dramatic feeling of the coast, but in our minds, we wanted a warm summer. I imaged to make a picture with a power ocean, that covered by the fog, but we were lucky and Etretat met us with very sunny and warm weather. And we wanted to stay there forever.
When we arrived at Etretat, there was low tide and we just started to walk around, where just a few hours ago was an ocean. It was an extremely wonderful feeling of freedom, the sun came through some rock and made a great light condition to enjoy this moment, and we started to explore every single beach running away from the daily work with the words “I am so happy right now, I want to stay here forever … ” Every 10 meters at Etretat made me say “This is the best spot … “, oh now, this one is the best and from all our trip I probably said this unlimited times.
Living far away from the ocean and any other water condition, we did not even know what is really “fast tide”. Walking about 2 hours and 1000 meters away by the beach from the city, I started to see that the water was coming and we did not realize that it's coming too fast. Normandy is the most famous not only by their unbelievable rocks, but it is also famous for their longest tides. When we get back to the entrance point to the first beach, the tunnel made in rocks, all spot was almost covered by the ocean and the seals were sitting there, reminding me the small origami, that was making fun from you. That was our first meeting with Normandy Tide and I would say it made the emotional blast.
Trip Around Rocks
When we got away from the ocean power, we realized that our trip has just started and we were ready to explore. We got up to the hill and decided to go to the end of the rock, to sit there for a while, to feel the breath from the west, to feel the freedom and power of it. What restrained, but juice color palette on the North of France, it feels like all the energy is collected there and the air is so sharp and penetrating.
We were so excited to move forward and we got an idea to reach the lighthouse at the other end of the horizon. We walked by the wide path towards the lighthouse, seeing how the scattered across the smooth surface of the ocean seals, like a handful of the white father, at one moment all suddenly grappled together and began to circle and again stuck to water and swayed on it without moving. Hill by hill we went up and down, exploring different wild beaches and rocks, they were so similar to the first view, but so different at the same time.
It was warm weather and I had an idea to turn back, as after 30 minutes of walk the lighthouse wasn't closer at all, but the goals are goals, if you have a small goal or the big one, always try to finish the deal. We reached the lighthouse after 2 hours of walk by the empty hills and very green grass, we felt happy, but the road back was waiting for us…
Some tips if you want to hit the goal “Walk into the Lighthouse”
- take a lot of drink water with you, even in spring
- some sun protection cream, if you don't want a “tattoo” of your watch on hand
- at Etretat is always windy, so you get to wind down in the wind easily
- the camera of course (tell you as a photographer)
Etretat from the Photographer Perspective
As a photographer in France, sometimes I love to go out from the cityscapes and Etretat is definitely a great place if you want to make a photo session either portrait, engagement or wedding. It can be a cloudy day and very dramatic shots and feelings or sunny day with very romantic mood but still, the colors of the sky will make it works great. But don't go just for a shooting, get there for a day, walk, breath and enjoy the moment. A good photographer can make the day very special for you.
I can’t imagine how great it will be to have a wedding at Etretat or if somebody decides to make a proposal there … magic.
Some logistic tips:
We went there by car from Rouen and it took us about 40 minutes to drive. This is the easiest way to get there, but there is also an option to come from Paris by public transport by taking a train from Paris to Le Havre (it is about 3 hours ride) and then take a bus from Le Havre to Etretat,(around 1-hour ride). It’s the best combination I explored to use in April 2018, but maybe now there are better solutions.
I wrote a lot about my feelings along the article, but when I come to this place, I always want to stay here forever. The life today is different and everything is moving fast, so if you can take pause, take your favorite book and stay at Etretat at least for a weekend. It will be unforgettable ….
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