Ever since I went to Versailles, I have been wanting to go on more day trips to places in France. Between class, having friends visit, and traveling to crazy cool places, I really haven’t had much time to get away for the day. But last Thursday Ally, Emily and I finally took another day trip! We traveled a few hours outside of Paris by train and ended up in Étretat, a tiny farming town in the Normandie region known for their amazing cliffs. We ended up having one of the best days so far!
Unfortunately, our trip didn’t exactly start as planned. We started our morning very early and took a two-hour train to a station, where we were supposed to get on a bus. We got the bus times mixed up, and as we were walking up to the bus station we watched our 10:30 bus roll out at exactly 10:19. Our 11-minute mistake was going to cost us three hours because the next bus to Étretat did not leave until 1:30. Our time was already pretty limited so we decided to bite the bullet and take a not-so-cheap cab. In the end, it was 100% worth it.
40 minutes later we arrived, triple checked the time for our bus home, and headed out to the cliffs. We walked out to the ocean and onto a beach covered in rocks and pebbles. It was incredibly windy and a bit chilly, but we had a blast running up and down the beach. We were acting like little children that had never seen the ocean, it was so much fun. The beach is surrounded by cliffs on either side, so after our fair share of running from the waves we picked a side and started climbing!
Even though it was a little foggy, the view from the top was amazing. We ended up climbing up both sides of the cliffs, going a little too close to the edge, and taking way too many pictures. It was so beautiful, I forgot how much I love the ocean. We even found a sketchy staircase down the face of one of the cliffs and decided to do a little extra exploring. It took us down to a tiny, secluded rock beach and we spent way too much time just hanging out and looking at all the rocks. Right when we were about to climb the stairs back up the cliff to return to where we came from, we found a cave/tunnel that led us through the cliff to the other side, back to the original beach we started on! All three of us ran through the cave screaming because it was so creepy and dark, but we were willing to do anything to not have to climb up more steep stairs.
Three coffees and one bus ride later (we got to the bus stop very early this time), we were headed back to Paris. I had never even heard of Étretat two weeks ago, and now it is one of my favorite places! It was such a unique experience. Plus, the cliffs got me even more excited for my Cliffs of Moher tour I’m taking in Ireland next month. I’ll leave you with more low-quality iPhone pictures; I didn’t want to take my camera because there was a high chance of rain.