Friday, 3 August 2012

Lazy day at the beach

No, it wasn’t spent at the man made Paris Plages along the Seine! Sporting bad biking tans, Mikayla and I decided we needed some sun. We hopped on a two hour train to Deauville-Trouville in historic Normandy.

Before I talk about the day, I should probably explain what Paris Plages is to those of you who don’t know. Every summer for four weeks from July 20th to August 19th, the mayor of Paris closes one of the main roads down along the Seine river, ships in sand and builds a long beach for Parisians to sun bathe on. Kids make sand castles and while you don’t swim in the Seine, you can run through massive ‘sprinklers’ to cool you off. It is the city sliker’s version of a beach since you don’t have to head very far. As a girl from Vancouver and another from New Zealand, both used to beautiful beaches and walking along the water, we are not quite as impressed by this 2.5 million euro idea, so we decided to check out the next closest beach.

Normandy is famous for the invasion and establishment of allied forces during World War two. Especially for Canadians, we are proud of the role we played here. The region is massive and while I only made it to two little towns in it, I can tell you it is absolutely beautiful and very worthwhile to see from either historical interest or relaxing time on the beach.

Leaving the bustling city of Paris behind, Mikayla and I loved walking through the small town of Deauville toward the beach. There are piles of little cafes and boulangeries and while they have them in Paris too, of course, it was a lot quieter in this town thus we were able to better enjoy conversation.  Paul, our boss and Mikayla’s cousin, was in Deauville with his family, so we crashed their vacation and met them for a late breakfast and some fun on the sun.

Deauville has a massive beach, which is covered in multi coloured umbrellas. It is famous for these strong coloured umbrellas and the beach itself is huge. We caught some rays for a while and then when starting to get a bit thirsty we hit the Bar du Soleil for a cocktail! We were on vacation after all, it’s always five o’clock ;).

We then took a boat across the harbor to Trouville to eat lunch at a fish market! Paul and his family had been there yesterday and showed us how to do it. We ordered a massive platter of fish from the fishermen themselves and ate some of the freshest fish I’ve ever tasted! After that, Mikayla and I continued to explore Trouville, checking out its beach and then walking through the town.

This area is where a lot of Parisians have their summer weekend homes and I can see why. It is a beautiful spot to spend the day with endless activities for families. The town is small and moves slowly, crawling with vacationers, but you can tell it’s not a sleepy town during the summer! After stopping for a bit more wine and a chat about the day, Mikayla and I hopped back on the train to return to busy, bustling Paris.

We spent the train ride saying how much we both want to return, but knowing I’m halfway through my trip and still want to see so much, it’s hard to be sure whether we will get the chance. Nevertheless, it was the perfect beach day! 

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