Fecamp 18/6/2014

A magical day begins just like any other but then something happens and it turns into a day you will never forget. On our way to Fecamp, on the west coast of France, I meet a young girl travelling the same way and check with her if it is the right bus. We have a bit of a chat and laugh as we struggle with each other’s language and then at our destination say “au revoir”. We walk into the station and she follows us to tell us she wants to take us to our hotel. We meet her father and he asks if he could show us some sights. We are overwhelmed by his spontaneous generosity he shows two perfect strangers. For the next hour and a half he shows us the sailors church, the bunkers that are still left from the war, the cliffs and talks about his life. We are so grateful and even though the time was brief a real connection was made. Shane and I then set off for the cemetery and it is all up hill – of course. We have a little trouble finding Uncle Noël and the people at the cemetery try to help us not knowing any English at all but are so delighted when we finally understand and make our way to the soldiers graves. It’s quite an emotional experience as you look at the ages of these young men when they died and to think about the ultimate sacrifice they gave for all of us. Shane’s uncle is in good hands, the area has been set aside in the bigger community cemetery and is well maintained, only about 35 graves, with beautiful lawn and little flowering shrubs. His story is quite sad as he was on his last mission, only the pilot survived and he ended up marrying one of the French resistance girls who helped keep him safe and bury the others.

We return to our hotel to find a card from our new found friends, wishing us well and hopeful that we may come back for a longer visit. We are so happy to have their names and address to contact them when we are back home.

They have given us a restaurant to try and we made sure we booked before heading out. When we arrive the outside of the restaurant is packed up and at 7:30 the doors are closed. It feels very intimate as the inside only has a few tables and even the family who run the place are sitting down enjoying a meal together. They say “bon appetite” when our food arrives. The sea food is amazing, crab, smoked herring, cod, sea bream and to finish creme brûlée and lemon sorbet.

i would love to stay another day but sadly there is a train strike and so we do have to try and get back to Rouen in case the trains stop running completely. After all we can’t miss getting back to Australia, can we?

 

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