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Etretat Coastal Region Will Steal Your Heart

Finally, I'm in Etretat in France a Normandy coast region, famous for its chalk cliffs. It is also famous for the Atlantic Wall from World War II, but this is not everything about this place.

Chalk  white cliffs with greenery on top and on the blue sky and sea background
Etretat`s cliffs view from the beach Copyright © Agnes Romaniuk

After Allied air raids on Bruneval and Dieppe in 1942, German forces decided to build an Atlantic wall to prevent landings. 1,500 mines were buried on a beach strewn with various obstacles. Nineteen concrete bunkers were built between the cliffs.

I am happy, that I visited this place during sunrise. The experience is amazing when you see the sun's rays slowly coming to life and gently illuminating the cliffs. Everything looks radiant and big blue hue all around, like in paradise.

The beach is full of pebbles in various shapes, and some have funny holes and shapes. Some pebbles are gray, others white. At the time, pebbles which are composed of 99 % from silica, were used for many things. Today it is prohibited to pick them up from the beach.

Etretat coast region has a wonderful history, that you won't read about anywhere.

Interesting are the remains of World War II in the form of a bunker and wooden booths. Atlantic walls bunkers built in orders to prevent an allied landing, they are constituted of blockhouse designated for a 5 cm canon, an observation post linked by a tunnel and a nest of machine guns. Until 1935 the oyster merchants sold oysters bred here. Also it is intresting, that childrens were used to work here in olden days. As soon as they are twelve fishermen`s children work as runners, ship`s boys or fishing apprentices on caics and clinkers plating boats.

Ships and boats were built in some of the preserved wooden buildings in the past.

The Etretat is a place where Claude Monet artist came to paint one of his many portrayals of the Aval cliffs while staying here. I took this photo while walking on the beach. This is just an information sign for the tourist about Monet's stay in Etretat and his famous masterpiece painting - Etretat The Aval Door Fishing Boats Leaving The Harbour, 1885. In the background you can see the chalk cliff, which I walked up to admire the panorama of Etretat.

Is my cliff photograph similar to a Monet painting? ㋡

blue sky and sea with white cliffs in background and blue painting of Claude Monet showing blue sky and cliffs with boats and yachts in red color
Claude Monet`s painting of cliffs in Etretat | Copyright © Agnes Romaniuk

The view from above Etretat coastal region enhances the scattering effect of the lights and the blue - green shades dominate and emphasize the transparency of the waters. I love the morning sky in his painting, same as I like the morning sunrise itself. It is so powerfull when you see the sun raise above the sky and it motivate you for the rest of the day.

Cliffs of Etretat are very high and reach 70 - 90 meters above sea. I didn't realize they were so high, until I walked and reached the highest point and even went into a small cave and stood for a few moments to see the panorama from above.

It was worth to walk to this place early in the morning, when there were no crowds of people yet. The silence in the morning is amazing. Only the gentle sound of the sea, sometimes a seagull flies by and you can hear it singing like laughter. I saw people bathing in the sea and I am not surprised at all, because the water is wonderful, clean and warm. I could take a bath if only I could swim. ヅ

I love most about this place the swallows that fly and glide above the hills of Etretat. Not everyone knows that these swallows are so-called martins that live in caves and rocks. They feed on insects caught in flight, hence the flight altitude depends on air humidity. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Some sources say that the swallow means rebirth and renewal, as well as freedom, hope and happiness. The symbol of the swallow, as a harbinger of good hope, announces an upcoming period in life full of harmony and peace.

Other birds also live in Etretat, such as seagulls, which are wild birds that feed mainly on fish. So, if we start feeding them what we eat every day, they will become too familiar with humans and start causing noise and pollution in cities. For this reason, let's not feed them. They are doing great on their own without our feeding.

















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