From three days' of good weather outside Paris, Wednedsay lunchtime we headed north, this time to the seaside for real at Le Touquet. We stopped here once before, six or seven years ago, as an overnight stop before heading back through the tunnel. This time I decided to have a three-night break. We picked the same hotel, the Novotel, and indeed Jacqueline's birthday present (which she took yesterday) was a pamper day in the Thalassotherapy institute next door. I think she was impressed, although the hotel in general does not seem as nice as it was on our last visit. We went down to the pool on Wednesday evening and the changing rooms were in a disgusting state. Not just dirty, but also looked like they were in disrepair. Paint has been allowed to peel and from te beach, the hotel very much resembles a concrete bunker.
Still, the rooms are quite large and comfortable, and we have a balcony overlooking the beach, so it is good to go to sleep to the sound of the waves. Breakfasts are good and the meal we had on our first evening was passable (though we ate out at the nearby Cote Sud restaurant last night and had a far better dinner).
Alice, of course, loves it. The day we arrived she got to go in the salt water pool, and yesterday she spent about seven hours on the beach, two of which in the sea. She has no feeling for the coldness of the water - I got as far as my calves and was almost frozen! And she loves it. She could happily spend all day, every day, playing on the beach. Jacqueline, of course, had her pamper day yesterday and so I had to look after Alice. But to be honest, apart from the time she was in the sea I was happy to watch her from the room. From there, I could fire up the computer and check out some of the photographs I'd taken (I'd uploaded them but hadn't had time to look at them), and could use the hotel's WiFi to catch up on emails, do a bit of surfing etc. etc. Sad, eh?
In fairness, I did head up to Boulogne yesterday afternoon - I wanted to get my shampoo, shower gel and tea (none of which I can obtain in England, and I'm a fussy bugger!) and took a trip to the Decathlon up there to get a suitcase, of all things. We got a smaller one in Thonon and it was excellent, so I got a larger one today. The plan is to try to pack everything into one bag or another, rather than into the car. Also, our cases are pretty old now, so these will act as replacements. That's my excuse, anyway!
Unfortunately, our luck has run out with the weather. Despite leaving Disneyland in sunshine, we have not seen an ounce of it since arriving on the coast. Nor any blue sky. We've had three days of dull, overcast weather, though thankfully we have been spared any rain. When we look at the weather forecast we can see that we're getting exactly the same weather as we'd be having at home. But still, better to have this dull weather now than to have had it last week (though in fairness the Savoie also looks to be getting good weather this week too!) Still, given the choice of sitting at home with grey skies and sitting on the beach with grey skies, guess where I'd sooner be?
This is our last day now. This afternoon we're going to get the bikes out and cycle into the town centre (the bikes have hardly been used this holiday and have been pretty much a waste of time), I must hit the web again to find a restaurant for this evening, then we must pack ready for one final night in one of our favourite cities, Rouen, on Saturday. Not that we can buy anything however since the car is already bursting!!!