France, Travel
Comments 4


Trusty self-timer pic thanks to a railing on the beach!

Trusty self-timer pic thanks to a railing on the beach!

Our second daytrip during our weekend in upper Normandy was to Étretat, to see the famed white cliffs soaring over the ocean. I had been looking forward to this for some time, and while I was hoping for a crystal clear bluebird day, we were met instead with an overcast haze. Which in the end wasn’t so bad, and lent a sort of mysterious feeling to the town! I do encourage you to do an image search of Étretat, though, to see how the cliffs look in the brilliant sunshine. Stunning!

white cliffs

We took a stroll through the sweet town and picked up a sandwich and baguette for lunch (for all my North Van friends out there – we have found the next best thing to the Galleria chicken sandwich, and it comes from Étretat. Yum!). From there we went down to the beach to check out the cliffs. The view took my breath away, I have to admit. I took hundreds of photos, I just couldn’t stop myself.

family on rocks

The beach is made up of the smoothest rounded rocks, all super pale greige and almost white. The ocean that day was truly seafoam green. I’ve rarely seen water the colour it was in this place, it was just gorgeous. The sound of the waves flowing back out to sea was a loud clicking of rocks, which reminded us of one of our favourite beaches back home, Ross Bay. The cliffs looming up on either side of the bay, truly stunning.

arch + needle

derek and kids looking out to sea

We eventually wandered over to climb the hill on the north side of the bay, which allowed us a beautiful view of the arched cliffs across the way, with the “needle” pointing out of the ocean at the tip.

full beach + arch view

overhead view of right side

derek and kids, edge of cliff

Later in the day we went to check out the south end of the beach, where the kids climbed on the rocks and waded into the water. All in all, it was a beautiful day, despite the haze (which did begin to burn off towards late afternoon).

oli on rocks, derek and dani in water

oli on rocks

kids in hole

We really enjoyed our weekend in upper Normandy. There is so much to explore here in France, I really feel like we’ll only just get a feel for it before it’s time to head back home. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, we still have ten more months! Later this week I’ll be back to share a few pics of the first day of school, la rentrée. The kids have had a successful first week, better than we could have hoped for, and for that I am so thankful.

there i am! in etretat! I was really there.

Oh look! There I am in a photo again. Thanks Derek!

kids and derek on cliff

From the top of the cliffs on the north side of the beach.



  1. Graham says

    We saw a “Coast” on this part of France and Monet painted that needle in several different lights. He often painted a particular scene in different seasons and different lights.


    • Yes, we saw a painting of Étretat inside Monet’s house (a reproduction of course) and it was fun to see since we were heading there the next day! What a beautiful part of the country.


  2. Hi Lesley! This is Sarvi from the O+S forums. I found your blog through a comment there. Very excited to read through and learn about your experience moving abroad!


    • Hi Sarvi, thanks for popping by to say hello! I have been enjoying the thread of comments over at the O+S blog myself! I hope you enjoy a peek into our lives in France 🙂


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