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  • Writer's pictureJoanna

Côte Fleurie

Updated: Jun 20, 2023

I have a lot of problems.

I am fully aware of this.

Two of my primary issues are; 1. I think it’s going to be incredibly easy to lose weight before I go on vacation and 2. I think, once I’ve failed #1, it’s going to be easier to lose weight while I’m actually ON vacation.

Neither plan ever really works to my benefit and as soon as I disregard #1 in favour of #2, I know I’m doomed. Like most holidayers, all I do is eat. If it’s part of the culture and/or experience, then I’m convinced the calories obviously don’t count.

Follow me for weight loss tips… or don’t…

My “How to Live Large” manual should be out in the fall…

Living the healthy lifestyle becomes increasingly more difficult when you’re stuck in the car all day, driving… driving… driving. I have never considered myself much of an avid driver. I hate long distances. The agony of being seated in one position for the majority of the day does not work wonders for my sciatica, my poor circulation or my ability to remain alert.

Mix that with a full carb and sugar diet and the results are atrocious. I’ve become desperate for fruit, veggies, more water… and a good, long stroll.

Whatever… disregard everything I’m blathering on about… because as soon as I decide to swear off gluten, sugar, dairy and wine… guaranteed it’s the first thing I run towards.

My own personal magnets. Poor me…

We left our cozy haven hotel in Arromanches and headed east, along the Normandy coast. The Côte Fleurie, otherwise known as the Flower Coast, stretches for approximately 40kms, and is tremendously popular due to its charming seaside towns, its local cider, its delectable cheeses and its seafood.

We had not been on the road long when we managed to come across a restaurant that was OPEN! We ran in as quickly as our legs could carry us, secured ourselves a table, and ordered as rapidly as we could get the words out. A real LIVE restaurant! We were so overcome with astonishment.. and the pure delight of having found something, that we were completely oblivious to pricing and selection.

We chose poorly...

Desperate for nutrition, we decided to split a salad. It seemed like a perfectly good idea at the time. Firm in our misguided illusion that we would be receiving an artisan salad, we were disappointed to receive a bowl of lettuce, loaded with canned dressing, canned olives, canned corn, canned beets and a few slices of tomatoes and cut carrots.

It was neither the spectacular, nor the stylish salad one might expect from a sophisticated restaurant in a touristic, French coastal village.

Of course, what does one do when the meal isn’t great?

Bread to the rescue!

Having been deprived of restaurant food for so long, we had most definitely jumped the gun… and as soon as we had stuffed ourselves and paid… when, what to my wondering eyes should appear? … An abundance of quaint bistros lining the streets of each charming village we came across.

They were everywhere… and, of course, unfortunately we’d just eaten.

Murphy’s Law!

Isn’t it just always the way? I felt like I was in an Alanis Morisette song.

We spent the day exploring the breathtaking and spectacular white cliffs of the Normandy coast, as well as Deauville, Trouville-sur-Mer and Honfleur. Each one, its own picturesque and unique harbour town with welcoming boardwalks, sandy beaches, chic boutiques, art galleries and FOOD!

I think both of us would’ve enjoyed spending more time in each location, but we were early morning lazy-bones, and didn’t end up getting the head start on the day, as we had quite intended. In Deauville, I couldn’t quite figure out the paid parking metre… so we decided to abandon our vehicle and take our chances. Throwing caution to the wind was perfectly fine until we collided with bylaw, circling the premises and seeking out offenders. Our exploration was cut short.

I wasn’t much in the mood for another ticket.

*and yes… I have already received a ticket in France… but it’s a mystery as to why.

I recently received a €46 fine notification email… and it informed me that they would let me know about my offence soon.

Maybe I was speeding. Maybe I was going too slow. Perhaps I went the wrong way down a one-way street. Maybe I made an illegal u-turn or misread a French traffic sign. Maybe I ran a red light or didn’t stop in time.

I’ll admit… I am guilty of all those things thus far. And more… without a doubt.

Time will tell.

Maybe I’ve been fined for my shitty French… or eating too many baguettes.

Both ghastly crimes… and valid reasons for monetary punishment.

Anyway, I thought it might be best to avoid another penalty, so we rapidly took the traditional tourist photos, and then hightailed it back to the car.

Been there ✔️ Done that ✔️ Got out in the nick of time ✔️

Speaking of red lights… not that I was really discussing red lights, but… I will attempt to never complain about our traffic lights at home again. Realistically, it probably won’t happen, but I will endeavour to put my best foot forward. The wait time for red lights in France is insufferable. It far exceeds tolerable wait times. Regardless of oncoming traffic or not, you are forced to endure the lingering delay. On more than one occasion, I was tempted to just turn off the engine and take a nap.

My patience is another problem.

Trouville-sur-Mer was more of a fishing village, but presented itself at the ideal time for a loo & vin break. After the recent traffic light torment, we were owed wine.

To be honest, I always think I‘m owed wine… which is, yet, another one of my problems.

This blog could very well double as some potentially beneficial self-reflective therapy…

Of all the villages, Honfleur was my absolute favourite.

Highly recommended… Honfleur.

If you just happen to find yourself in France… and want the quintessential and picturesque seaside village experience, this is definitely the place to hit up. As soon as I turned the corner and laid eyes on the impressive harbour, I knew Honfleur had imprinted on my heart.

It is difficult to find the right words to describe the magic of its medieval architecture. It is one of France’s most visited towns, and it is not difficult to figure out why.

Now… just to get back…


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