Saturday, June 07, 2008

from Normandy: the high-brow

We have passed several times through Deauville to get to Hornfleur, our home for the week. But we had never actually paused there.

Deauville. You’ve heard of it? In my mind, it is full of hoity-toity images. It’s where the Parisian rich and the European mighty go to play in the summer, no?

Worth a visit.

But first – sustenance.

When times were especially (as opposed to sporadically) rough in terms of WiFi at our b&b, the sympa mademoiselle at the Bureau de Tourisme suggested we try our luck at Le Perroquet Vert. Right here, looking out on the old port:

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Le PV had served up its WiFi bounty well for one of us and now we are back, in grateful appreciation, catching a café and a croissant.

…And thinking that perhaps Le PV could stand even more appreciation, we return at noontime for a strong cup of tea (we must occasionally do the unpredictable) and a warm apple cake. With Normandy cream, to get that regional blast.

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Alright, now. Deauville. The bus ride there and back is a mere half hour, so don’t think this is a long journey. [You could go there and back and not miss the end of the evening news. But not if you’re riding with me. If you’re with me, you’ll return quite late, because you’ll note that I will have forgotten (again!) to check the special note that tells you that these are the times for the navette (shuttle) rather than for the real bus, and if you should find this note yourself and ask me what it means in real words, I’d have to admit that I do not know. In any event, with me, you’ll now have to wait an extra hour until the real bus shows up. And then you’ll be fine. Late, but fine. If you get fed up with my bus catching idiosyncrasies, you can always hike. It’s a mere 17 or so kilometers to Honfleur, but the road is narrow and winding and it has buses whizzing by, of course. The ones you should be on. Trust me, it's scary.]

Deauville is a trifle less splendid than I imagined it would be. There are nice lunch salads to be had…

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… and a number of Parisian stores may catch your eye. And there is a large casino and a largish hotel or two (or three, or three dozen for all I know),

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...but these Normand structures do not line the seafront in the grand way that they should (according to my grand seaside town planning instincts).

Instead of grand houses, there are numerous bathing huts, and they have, peculiarly, names of older Hollywood stars. To me, that’s a singn of faded glory.

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But the beach is magnificent! Walk along and nod in agreement.

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still not the season

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...except for children

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and hardy young adults

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and very hardy adults

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and very very hardy adults

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and lovers of undefined ages ...

We walk quite a ways and the water is nicely warm, so that shoe and sock removal is very much in order.

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Yes, then there is that longer than necessary bus routine, but by evening, we are in our home town. Small town girls, returning to our base after a day in the big league.

We eat another fine dinner – moules et frites. All sweetly pretty in a port-side brasserie decked in yellows and blues. Simple food. Great food. Good to be back.

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