Our holiday this year was a little later than normal as I am no longer restricted to school holidays. Hubby and I decided to return for the third year to Etaples and the beautiful Fisherman's Cottage, it really is like a Tardis inside.
|Beautiful lounge through to the kitchen |
through to the dining room
Arriving early at the docks P & O kindly allocated us an earlier crossing which to my relief was lovely and smooth, arriving in France mid afternoon.
Etaples is just a short drive from Calais so we were soon settled, Philippa loved the cottage and thought it was huge inside. Sunday evening we enjoyed a meal at Buffalo Grill followed, on Monday, by a trip to Saint Valery sur Somme. We drove first to Le Hourdel which is a lighthouse at the southern point of the Somme Estuary.
|Philippa, Me and Hubby (taking photos)|
|Huge expanse of beach - in the far, far, far distance|
lay a small group of seals sunbathing
|Saint Valery sur Somme|
|Philippa - beautiful French scene|
We squeezed in a quick trip to Montrueil-sur-mer Tuesday afternoon. It's a beautiful place, the setting/inspiration for Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, and was once the port for La Canche but as the river has silted over time the harbour is now at Etaples and Montrueil has very little 'mer'.
|Ramparts at Montreuil-sur-Mer|
|Montreuil's cobbled streets|
Thursday was quite emotional. Hubby and I walked to the Etaples Military Cemetery about 1.5 miles out of town. I have been doing some work at Nuneaton Library documenting World War 1 stories and Etaples played a major role. It had the largest Military Hospital and was a resting camp between Boulogne and the front line. Although this was our third visit to Etaples it was our first to the cemetery, I had seen the name on some of the paperwork I have researched and so now felt I had a small connection and better understanding.
It was an incredible place to be - so still - even with a hive of generators and workers re-engraving the headstones with mini drills, the railway running by and traffic on the main road.
|Etaples Military Cemetery|
|A metal box set in the wall containing|
a visitors book & books of all grave details
in alphabetical order
|10,816 lie here - 35 unidentified|
|So peaceful even with engravers (right) at work|
|My grandfather was in this regiment|
- I wonder if they served together?
|Their names liveth forevermore|
All in all quite a moving, interesting and thoughtful visit to both the cemetery and museum.
On our last night we returned to Au Vieux Port for dinner - there is so much choice on the menu but I couldn't resist Mussels au Bleu. They were delicious and so many it took me 50 minutes to eat. Hubby enjoyed a lovely duck dish, we both had café gourmand for dessert, with bubbly - Blanquette de Bourgogne - perfect.
|Mussels with blue cheese sauce|
|Sitting on our bench|
|Garden at Porte de Paris|
|Stunning floor, windows and statutes|
|Porte de Paris - still has it's drawbridge through|
|Loved this windmill on the outskirts of Lille|
|Welsh and chips (scoop shaped)|