Gerardin Travels        

View of village from our hotel

Garden at the Dormy House

Relaxing with welcome drink

Twilight of the longest day of the year.

Summer Solstice sunset

Trails at the beginning...

... were more populated at the beginning

Lisa volunteered to not...

...venture out on the edge... photo Joe.

The tide was at full low by the end of our


Benedictine palace

Benedictine distillery

Summer Solstice at Étretat, Upper Normandy

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In France they make a BIG

deal out of the summer

solstice. Maybe it's because

everyone is so happy summer

is finally back with good

weather, or that it is light until

10:00 at night, but mostly I

think it's because on the 21st

of June all the french celebrate

"La Fete de la musique"! Each

village, town, or city schedules

musical events.  

At our Port Cergy they bring in

big stages, across from each

other, and have live music,

playing simultaneously, until

midnight. "Music" is a very

loose description. This year our

neighbors who stayed for the

event said there were Janis

Joplin attempted sing-a-likes

and many more... All at max

volume. For those non-boaters,

may I point out that sound

bounces off water, and water

is what is in the port here

surrounded in a circle with 4 story apartments that also


Ok, you say, music until midnight anyone can tolerate.

But another part of this event is that everyone is allowed

to play their music, party, get drunk and make as much

noise as they like... ALL NIGHT LONG!!!! 

Hence our decision, after the first year experiencing this

event, to flee. Last year we spent it in a little hotel in the

countryside of the Loire Valley. This year we chose Étretat

in Upper Normandy on chalk cliffs above the ocean. There

are arches cut from the cliffs in a couple of the places and

hiking trails all along the top edge that go forever.


We arrived to our lovely hotel set on the cliff top

overlooking the little village of Étretat on the afternoon of

the 21st. There was a light sea breeze, sea gulls were

crying, and the sun was out. Ahhh...

We spent the next two days hiking along the cliffs, taking

photographs almost every step of the way, munching on

mussels and frites, and reading and relaxing on the grassy

area at the hotel.  Needless to say, we reserved for

Summer Solstice 2011 when we checked out. :))

Absolutely heavenly. 

On our way home we visited the Palace in Fecamp where

Benedictine is made. The founder constructed

this incredible palace which now houses a very interesting

art gallery and museum as well as the distillery.  


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