We grabbed Susi the dog and headed down to the beach. Jules had been talking for a while about childhood exploits gathering mussels, crabs (mostly too scary) and shrimp on the coast here. I misunderstood how you got the shrimp, and thought it involved wading in the same sort of small rock pools where you got mussels, so I declared my intention not to partake. However, you actually get them by dragging a small (in our case) net along the sea floor and scooping them up. Turns out it's so much fun! I was inappropriately dressed and hence got a wet bum, but totally worth it. We only gathered around a dozen shrimp over the course of 20 minutes or so, plus I caught a baby crab a couple of inches long and two baby flat fish (these all went back in the sea, of course). I'd never seen baby fish/seafood like that, the flat fish were almost transparent, they were so small. We did cook and eat the fresh shrimp, although Jules grossed me out by pointing out that several (mostly the biggest ones) were covered in eggs. Ugh, I would have returned them to the sea too had I realised. I've eaten caviar, but gotta draw the line somewhere.
|View of Ambleteuse from the beach|
|Me and Susi - obviously still a bit windy|
|Not Susi on the shore|
|Me and tiny camouflage man|
|Fisherman Jules having a Daniel Craig moment|
|Which I suppose makes me the woman in the white bikini, whatever she's called. Disclaimer: I've never seen a single Bond film|
We realised while splashing around that the sea wasn't actually that cold, so we dropped Susi back off at the flat, I changed into a bikini, and we hurried back to the beach for a dip in the North Sea. Very brave! It was not that bad when you sucked it up and jumped in, and we even lay on the beach a bit afterwards, until the quickly-advancing tide threatened to dunk us again.
In the afternoon, we took another drive, this time to Blanc Nez, Gris Nez's twin, so named because it has white chalk cliffs similar to the Dover cliffs on the other side of the Channel. We actually parked near Escalles (I think) and walked up to a height of 134m or 151m, depending who you ask. I found the path, covered with myriad small, sharp stones, quite trying, I must admit (I had changed into thin-soled sandals). But at least I did better than Susi the dog, who had to be carried a fair bit of the way. She is 16 years old though. It was worth the walk though, as we were rewarded with beautiful views of the sea, Calais, Cap Gris Nez and all the way over to England.
|Driving to Blanc Nez|
|Jules lets Susi rest her little legs|
|The land side of the cape|
|Looking towards Gris Nez|
|In the direction of Calais|
|View to Calais|
|I assume this village is Escalles|
|Me, Jules and Susi|
Okay, that was probably too many photos. But it really was pretty. The weather in August around these parts has not been too flash most of the time, so it was great to have a little taste of summer as the season draws to an end. Even more so since the forecast for the weekend had not been great, so it was a lovely surprise. We really had a good time and were just sad that it was so short! Luck definitely plays a part, but I'll think twice before badmouthing the Nord-Pas-de-Calais again.