Day 10: I’m Free as a Bird

This morning we got up early to catch a cab to a car rental place to pick up our car for the France leg of our trip. We were really sad to be leaving Ghent (and the beer), but excited for a completely different portion.

We got to Europcar and picked up our little white Volkswagen Golf 4-door. The clerk at the office was very interested in our trip and when we mentioned we would be going to Ypres, he put his hand over his heart, clearly very emotional, and said to us that it was a special place and still hangs heavy in the heart of Belgians, and that we will feel the emotion when we get there.

We hooked up my phone to the USB in our rental, and turns out it’s equipped with Apple Car Play, so navigating and playing music from my phone was super easy. We plotted the course for our lunch destination, Boulogne-Sur-Mer on the French coast and we hit the road.

The flat Belgian countryside eventually gave way to green rolling hills and farmlands of France, dotted by brick farmhouses and cows. After 2 hours we rolled into Boulogne-Sur-Mer. We chose a random patisserie that we came across and lucked out – pastries, desserts, breads, sandwiches – all the things. Pa and I each had a delicious fresh sandwich and Ma had a fruit salad and pain au chocolat. We bought a couple of treats and bottles of water for the road and headed on a slight detour to Harley Davidson Côte d’opale so Pa could buy a t-shirt, and continued on our trek west.

The countryside got more and more beautiful the farther west we went, and it was times like this I truly treasure – adventuring with my folks, gorgeous scenery, Otis Redding pumping on the stereo. After about 2 hours, we saw a sign for a rest stop, so we pulled aside to eat our treat. The rest stop, as it turns out, was a slight divot in the grass beside a picnic bench and a pasture of cows. The wind had really picked up, so we ate our treats quickly and hopped back into the warm car.

An hour later, around 1700hrs we pulled into Fécamp, our cute little seaside town for the next 8 nights. We’re staying at a bed and breakfast called A La Maison Blanche, a wonderful little establishment with immaculate themed rooms (we got the China suite. There’s red toilet paper.) and wonderful warm hosts, Marc and Sébastien. We hauled our luggage up the flights of stairs, grabbed our cameras and hit the beach.

Fécamp is an old fishing town nestled in between the white cliffs of the Côte d’alabatre and fronted by a pebble beach. With the wind whipping our hair and the salty sea spray into our faves, we strolled along the promenade.

The Channel waters were rough and very choppy, but we did spot someone windsurfing in the distance. Apparently on a clear day, you can see England.

We found a seaside restaurant and had some dinner and returned to A La Maison Blanche, I hopped in the hot rain shower to rinse the salt from my body, and climbed into bed.

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