A Detour Leads to Our First French Picnic!

June 6, 2015.

On a day-trip from Rouen.

One habit I wish I could bring home with me was the picnics in France.

While driving along a back road we got stopped for a bicycle race and told to turn back.We got stopped for a bicycle raceAs it was lunch-time we headed straight to the nearest farmer’s field and set up a tail-gate party for two. It turns out we weren’t the only people with that idea: this French group had brought friends, picnic baskets, umbrellas and more.Our first French picnicOur first French picnic wasn’t overly spectacular – we had some cheese that had melted slightly from the heat accompanied by cold beer. The cold beer was grabbed at a small market five minutes AFTER the lunch closing time of 1:00 – we pleaded with the owner to have a ‘special opening’ just for us and he obliged! (Note: In France (also Belgium) everything closes down two hours for lunch. At 3:00 all the restaurants close and the stores reopen. If you do not eat within the designated hours you will go hungry!)Our first French picnic with 8p6 beer and cheeseHere I’m holding up the beer but this image is really about the view. Although nondescript it was somehow lovely, and at one point the farmer went by in his tractor with his little dog sitting next to him. Al described our 8.6 beer as a Euro-beer, giving it only 3 stars. But I really liked it and gave it 4 stars. Maybe it was the setting!Our first French picnic with 8p6 beerLater, for some reason, we were allowed to drive along the race route as long as we didn’t run over the bicyclists. It was very surreal, like being in a movie where some hapless tourists are caught up in the middle of the Tour de France. To complete the picture all we needed was a bunch of spectators to regally wave at as we drove past.
Bicycle race in progressThis is our route, the day starting with a stop at the ruins of an ancient abbey in Jumieges, followed by this picnic and then off to Honfleur on the coast. But it was the first sunny Saturday in June and everybody had gone to the Honfleur – the place was packed and even pay parking non-existent.Rouen to Camenbert RouteThus we carried on down the coast to Beaumont-en-Auge. It was fractionally less crowded and with further French ‘picnics’ on our minds we bought a selection of dark chocolate with almonds and ginger.
Dark chocolate, almonds and ginger in Beaumont en Auge, FranceFrom there we headed inland to explore the ‘cider route’.

More about our 2015 trip to France.

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5 responses to “A Detour Leads to Our First French Picnic!

  1. Pingback: Travelling to Livarot along Normandy’s Cheese & Cider Route | Albatz Travel Adventures·

  2. Pingback: Jumieges Abbey Ruins from the 1600s, France | Albatz Travel Adventures·

  3. 😮 😮 😮 This is the first time I see this 8.6 beer after a long time when we found some in my hometown, Ljubljana, Slovenia, and I had two in a row, and I was sick as a dog. My normal beer had about 5% of alcohol so those two were quite a shock. I bet it was surreal and like being in a movie. 😉 But that chocolate at the end calmed me down, thanks. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Dinner in Bernay and an Evening in Rouen | Albatz Travel Adventures·

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