Small town, seaside spots, always move me. Childhood reminders. This one, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, has only 2,000 residents, give or take, a small town by most measures. And, the mineral smell of the ocean hits you immediately upon stepping out of the car.
Etretat is a quaint place nestled in between white chalk cliffs, the beach not sand, but almost perfectly round stones worn down smooth over thousands of years by the relentless waves of the English Channel. The views from all directions are dominated by the cliffs and their three arches and one single stone needle. One can easily imagine these cliffs, at one point in history, tearing apart from the Brighton and Eastbourne cliffs across the channel, on England's Southern coast. The similarities are undeniable.
Walking along the top of them is breathtaking. The image posted here is the striking view from the hill above the East end of town, where the small chapel of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde sits.
For me, Eteretat was on my unusually long photography bucket list. Checking it off was an impressive experience. It was well worth running from a plane at Charles de Gaulle, to the rental car counter, and driving the three hours from Paris and then back in time for a business meeting.
location etretat, france
photographer patrick connolly