Continuing in my efforts to “profiter” of my time left, I hopped on a train last weekend and met Lauren in Caen to rent a car and take a tour of the Normandy coast. Our original plan was to head up to Cherbourg, but after some reflection and discussion, we decided that Étretat might be a more worthy end goal. After seeing Étretat, I’m fully convinced we made the right decision.
As I said, we rented a car in Caen and headed up the coast – our first stop was Trouville, ancient home of French author, Marguerite Duras. We walked the beach, saw a bit of the town, and then moved on.
Originally, our plan was to eat lunch in Honfleur, but the main road was closed and after attempting (and failing) to follow the detour twice, we stopped at this cheesy (but delicious!) chain restaurant called “The Buffalo Grill.”
I could write an entire blog about The Buffalo Grill. Its a French chain restaurant imitating the big American chain restaurants (think TGIFridays or Ruby Tuesdays), and they do a GREAT job! From the moment I walked in to the restaurant, I felt like I was back in America, only a strange America where everyone speaks French.
They’re cowboy-themed and serve your basic burger & fries type of fare. I ordered the Frenchy burger, and it may have been the best burger I’ve ever eaten. And instead of offering ketchup with the fries, you can choose from 15 different types of sauces, including BBQ, Roquefort, etc… DELICIOUS!!!
It was also the quickest meal I’ve ever eaten in France – they really nailed the timing of an American restaurant too, we ate within an hour, which is nearly impossible in a real French restaurant.
After our lunch detour, we decided it would be best to head straight to Étretat. It was cloudy Saturday morning, but cleared up by the time we got to Étretat. Friends, if you’re ever in Northern France, take the time to stop here. It was breathtaking! The cliffs are amazing, I could have spent all day just taking in the views, listening to the waves and the gulls’ cries, basking in the sun and breathing in the salty coastal air.
Once you are on the cliffs, there are all kinds of paths you can walk around and down again. And, without any of the annoying (but perhaps handy?) guardrails you would find on the edge of American cliffs.
We stayed in Étretat all afternoon, and I would definitely go back. It’s amazing how much beauty there is to see in this world.
Oh, and one last thing – We rented a diesel for our travels, and it was surprisingly fuel-efficient. Why don’t we use diesel more in the USA? We drove 230 KM and used only about 1/8 of a tank – definitely worth the 10 euro upsell (especially since fuel doesn’t come cheap here – that 1/8 tank cost 23 euros!)