The Cliffs of Étretat
This blog, or more the photos, are long in the making. These photos are similar to the Isle of Skye photos in the fact that there is a certain atmospheric thing in the air where it is harder for me to get the photos to a place that they resemble my vision. Some work some don’t, still want to share.
This trip was the return gift from my father to me, as Ilse of Skye was for him. The cool thing is, Étretat is a very nice environment which you can reach by car in about 6 hours. So it is pretty accessible situated in Normandy France and a great place to do photography. It is also quite close to the D-Day beaches and it’s historical landmarks and the remains of war you will encounter.
Day #1 Exploring Étretat
The first day was just to get to know Étretat and getting our footing of the cliffs and surrounding areas. Arriving just after lunch we decided to do a short hike up the cliffs and coastal area. Which was fun and demanding at the same time. So came 4 o’clock, a beer was definitely welcomed. We just explored the direct hiking trains of Étretat and took some photos, starting out with fog and mist and clearing up to be a nice sunny day at the end.
After our well deserved beer we explored the beach and the walkways throughout the cliffs, which were impressive. We would, a few days later, do a proper hike from Étretat to the Cap-D'Antifer Lighthouse and back across the beaches.
Quite an adventure at Day 3. In the end we ended up heading back to Étretat beach and enjoyed the sudden sunset, the sun quite quickly setting in the low hanging clouds at the horizon. Not as epic as we thought, still nice to see!
Day #2 Heading towards d-day
The second day started off with Sun, rain, mist, then rain. So we decided to get into the car and head up to the D-day beaches. Our first stop was not yet successful, however the mist and the pier, where quite interesting subjects. The mist eventually cleared, to reveal rain and more rain. So photography was pretty much impossible.
So in the end we decided to scout the area and eventually ended up at the big allied cemetery and memorial grounds. This place, especially in these conditions, makes you shiver a bit. All the history, the stories and especially the massive amount of graves there literally makes you think and appreciate the freedom we have nowadays.
All in all not the best day for photography, but a very impressive day nonetheless.
Day #3 Hiking around Étretat and the long way round
The day started out with some mist and drizzle, but this soon cleared up and eventually the sun came out. We decided to stay in the surrounding areas of Étretat and first walk up the North side of the cliffs.
The climb up and the view of the arc was nice. Several shots later we ended up the top of the North side cliffs. Here you could see the rugged cliffs, walk down to the waterline and see the coastalline cliffs which faded away in the distance.
However we decided to leave this part and walk South towards the Lighthouse on the cliffs and double back via the beaches and pass through walkways that are carved into the cliffs there. That turned out the be quite an adventure! We climbed big rocks, hiked over slippery wet stone beaches, fell - bruised my ego and wrecked a battery - and had Manu laughs along the way! One to remember!
Day #4 Omaha beach - remains of war
Well day four, good weather and off to the beaches of world war II. I really can’t say much that can explain the weird feeling standing there, seeing the old bunkers, barriers and floating docks -or- the remains that are there! I have been here before, but still it was impressive. This must have been a massive endeavour back then, it still would be I guess.
The last day, before heading home, we had one old bunker still to visit. One that was on top of the cliffs, but due to erosion fell straight into the sea. A magnificent spectacle to see! And what an epic final of these wonderful days photographing, again with my father!
Here are all the photos. All taken with the Fujifilm X-T2, with the 10-24mmF4 or the 55-200mm, some with the samyang 8mmF2.8 fish eye. Together with my trusty Lowepro sport and MeFoto tripod. Enjoy! Click to view larger in a light box and navigate with mouse or arrow keys.