The unusual rock formations at Étretat on the Alabaster Coast of France have inspired many artists including Monet.
Monet’s painting of this scene, painted early in the morning when the fishing boats were just setting out and the dawn add luminous colours.
Monet must have positioned himself partway up the hill on the other side (also worth a painting or two) in order to get this view of the bay.
Many people were climbing up to the little church on the cliff top.
The tide was out so we opted to walk along the shore.
The chalk cliffs have been carved into interesting shapes by the wave action.
At low tide there are many tide pools in the dimpled rock formations underfoot.
An old photo of rock collectors at Étretat. Today it is prohibited to collect the beach rocks as they protect the chalk cliffs from erosion by the waves.
A sample of a few of the ‘collectable’ rocks in a tide pool.
Al went further along the shore than I did; I was finding the seaweed too slippery for my liking. There were some dark caves there, one with a sign saying, ‘Here you are in a safety area. Do not panic. Please wait for the tide to go out before leaving.’
We were there too early for lunch but this ‘Plat du Jour‘ looks pretty enticing…
More on our 2015 trip to Northwest France.