March 20, 2009

Europe In 30 Days - Deauville and Honfluer France

On our way to Honfluer our route takes us through the seaside town of Deauville and we decide that we must stop here and take a walk on the beach. The street we park on is lined with beautiful Victorian style homes facing the ocean. I must say this is the widest beach I have ever seen and It's my understanding that you probably still wouldn't be able to find a spot to lay out during the hectic 100-day summer season here. Deauville is a playground of resorts, casinos, watersports, sunshine, shopping, horse racing and sandy beaches backed by wooded hills. So lucky for us we are here in January bundled up and enjoying the solitude that is rare in Deauville.

As we come into Honfluer the sun is just setting and as we drive past the picturesque harbour "Le Vieux Bassin", lights from the restaurants circling the harbour are reflecting off of the water. We find our hotel which is the Ibis Hotel once again. This is a very inexpensive chain of hotels throughout Europe, however they are not short on room size or amenities. In fact we have another great view. It's not the ocean mind you but it is beautiful!

We start our day walking around the harbour on cobbled streets and past half-timbered or slate-fronted buildings, popping in and out of little shops. I even find a great little vase with an etching of Honfluer.

Of course I am taking pictures of every one of these great buildings on our way to a lighthouse we spotted in the distance. Gotta have a picture of that to add to my collection.

Normandy is one of the few regions in France that does not produce wine, so what does one have when in Normandy? They have Calvados. Calvados is a cider brandy with many subtle variations. So the greatest find of the day was when we stumbled upon a little shop selling all types of Calvados.

And then there was that great little sign "Degustation Gratuite", that's free samples! So we try a few ranging from very smooth to a "I can't swallow this stuff, I think I'll buy one for my son-in-law". So I buy a smoother apertif for me and a stronger digestif for Sid, along with some others that Stijn purchased also.

Well sadley it is time to head back to Brussels. Our week in France has come to an end and I can't believe all the wonderful places we were able to visit while on this trip thanks to a home exchange in Provence and to Stijn for my wonderful birthday gift of Brittany and Normandy.

You can go to Where's Debbie to see the pictures of Deauville and Honfluer.

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