A New Year’s Drive, Part 2: The French Coast

By Ruben Alexander
This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series A New Year's Drive

FRANCE – A 90 kilometre drive past Dunkirk and Calais, along a route I had seen quite often on the way to England as a child, brought us to England… Well it’s not really England, but the landscape at Cap Griz-Nez (‘Cape Grey Nose’) looks like it could be. England itself is visible just 33.3 kilometres away across the Strait of Dover/Pas de Calais, the closest it gets to France or continental Europe.

Cape White Nose

1. Looking west


3. Cap Blanc-Nez was busy this new year’s midday, mainly with locals enjoying the sunshine

4. The monument (I didn’t look up what it’s for)

5. Looking north, with a ferry from Dover making its way to the port of Calais

6. The famous white cliffs of Dover were more visible than on this photo, but I’d need a bigger zoom to properly photograph it

7. Looking east towards Calais, with the village of Sangatte in the foreground

8. Looking west again …

9. … along the road we’ll be driving on in a minute


Driving on, we passed villages and small towns that seemed to have looks alternating between French, English and Flemish, all of them equally pretty. Now travelling by car makes me a bit too lazy to get out and make pictures, but we thought Wimereux, on the edge of Boulogne-sur-Mer, was so nice that we didn’t have a choice.

10. The short Wimereux river shortly before it flows into the English Channel

11. Looking the other way







We could have explored Wimereux a while longer, but still wanted to have some daylight left further along.


We passed into territory totally unknown to me after Boulogne. Sadly, the weather got less nice before we reached Normandy, which to my surprise looks like the Ardennes even though it is while 200 kilometres to the south-west of it.

18. A traditional barn in the village of Sainte-Foy

Longueville-sur-Scie – the first village in Normandy where we got out for a short walk


20.As some of you may have noticed, I try make pictures of as many as possible of these old-fashioned adverts (of which there are many in Belgium)


22. The River Scie




The town of Fécamp



28. We went for a walk from the town of Etretat to the rocks of the same name, but it was too dark to make pictures, which is why my last picture of Normandy is of Le Havre town hall

As I had previously seen on pictures, most of Le Havre was rebuilt in a very particular style after WW2. It is definately a place I would like to visit again properly. The same goes for its industrial surroundings, which looked like Mordor when we drove through them in the dark on the way to our last destination for that day.

La Défence, Paris


30. Another 200 kilometers, and we had reached our final destination for that day at 3 in the morning: Paris’s high-rise business district La Défence. We spent the night elsewhere in Paris before heading back to Belgium the next day.

Series Navigation<< A New Year’s Drive, Part 1: The Belgian Coast
This entry was posted in France

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