A sudden change in weather prompted that we take advantage of it. After biking for some time, a good friend and I ended up at a typical Dutch backyard beach, where we took to contemplation when presented with a sight of the evening blues and winter hues.
On a sunny April weekend, a friend and I rented a car and started driving towards Normandy, yet again. The destinations we wanted to head to was as always – Etretat & Mont Saint-Michel in Normandy, France all the way from Amsterdam, Netherlands. It was my 4th time going this route, and I was excited as it was the first time I wasn’t the only one on the driving wheel.
There was a feeling of apprehension brewing inside me right till the trip started, which I initially dismissed as nothing. Little did I know that the journey was going to be riddled with troubles. First signs were quick to show up, as I realised I forgot memory cards for my DSLR camera; and that the film SLR had a dead battery. My only consolation was that I had a small pocket Fuji camera.
We drove through the night, stopping for a nap at a fuel station somewhere on the border France and Belgium. At dawn, we made a proper rest stop for breakfast, toilets and fuel. It is one of my most favourite places in France; the scenery is spectacular.
The fog along the rolling hills and roads just about started to disappear as the sun shone.
The first stop for the night was to be in Etretat, so we went and booked ourselves a hotel room, and then headed to Mont Saint-Michel. I have been dreaming of flying the drone and taking pictures of this place, and it was time.
While heading back to Etretat, I managed to make a quick flight with the drone to capture the spectacular colours of the sandstone cliffs which adorned the coast along the English channel.
My soul, desperately yearning for a soft bed, could hear the hotel calling 250kms away. Before that, there were more important matters to be settled first – food. Instead of settling in for a quick dinner fix, we drove to Le Havre, to eat some Indian food. The morning views were as incredible as I always found them, staying at the same hotel, during earlier trips.
Thus commenced the next phase of my misadventure, where I ended up crashing my drone behind these cliffs. I discovered some tunnels which I walked up to, climbed a little and passed through.
At the potential crash site, I found a secluded beach surrounded by spectacular scenery. After concluding that my efforts were futile, I trekked along. After an hour or so I observed people from up top the cliffs staring at me, as were the passing boats. It turned out the tides have risen few meters cutting me off from the mainland, and they realised I was stranded before I did. Eventually, I signalled few paddlers who then rescued me.
Resigned this was enough adventure at Etretat, we started heading back. En route, an impromptu detour was made to Cap Gris Nez, a place that has been on my todo list and bookmarks for a few years now. With the shores of the UK being just 35kms away, the Cliffs of Dover were visible. I felt an insatiable urge to, touch those cliffs and to see the other side
It was afternoon; the car had to be returned the next day while another 400kms lay ahead. Irrationality prevailed, and we made yet another detour towards Paris, thereby adding another 400kms to the trip, just to have dinner at this one particular restaurant – Saravana Bhavan.
After not having travelled anywhere outside Amsterdam for over a month, I was restless. It was at 2 PM, on a lazy saturday, I decided that I had to do get out and do something. But given that it gets dark by 4.30 PM during winters, I was left with one choice of place – Zandvoort beach, which was only an hour away by public transportation and I had absolutely no complaints about it, for I can spend days just watching the waves.
I reached just in time to be able to capture some amazing beach-scapes, self portraits and few long exposures.
It probably was the first time that four of my friends, all unanimously agreed, for an impromptu trip to the beach. After a 30 minute train ride, we reached Zandvoort and 5 minute walk later, we were at the beach. It being a friday, neither of us were in a hurry to do anything and that gave me with plenty of time to walk around and take pictures.
It was especially fun watching the dogs run about, for no particular reason, but for the joy of it.