No Boats When I Was There

There is a WordPress feature called the Tag Surfer that shows posts others have done on their blogs that you have an interest in.

This morning I came across one featuring paintings by the father of French Impressionism, Claude Monet. The one that instantly struck me was this one done at the small village of Etretat in Normandy on the English Channel (La Manche to the French)

When I spent five days vacationing there in 1991 there weren’t any boats on the beach.


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2 responses to “No Boats When I Was There

  1. Oh, my gosh. What a wonderful juxtaposition! Did you take the photo? I think I’m rather more fond of it than the painting. Monet’s view is delightful and all that, but the photo seems to capture a little something “extra”.

    It reminds me of the Pinnacles in western Australia, or southern Utah. I love the starkness of the contrast. One of the most amazing sights of my life was flying the edge of the western sahara, looking down at nothing but water and sand.

    A couple of weeks ago I saw some Monet in an exhibition of impressionists/post-impressionists at the museum in Houston. It was extremely interesting because all of the paintings were from the National Gallery in DC and I’d seen many of them before. My response was quite different this time, and if I ever can figure out why that’s so, I might write about it. 😉

    Yes, that’s a picture I took. Etretat is a neat little town. Probably not much changed from the time that Monet was there except for the construction of bunkers on the heights that were part of Hitler’s “Western Wall.”

    It was a great vacation. In fact the only one I took while I was over there. Florence and I stayed at a little inn that dated back to probably the late 1400s and you could almost imagine the musketeers climbing the steps to the second floor. The people there treated my like royalty 1) because I was an American and Etretat isn’t that far from the D-day beaches and 2) I spoke French so they could talk to me. The whole time I was there I didn’t buy a single drink at a bar and I got a free bottle of wine with almost every meal. It really pisses me off when I hear people in the States bad-mouthing the French. You certainly couldn’t prove any animosity towards Americans at all.

  2. I agree that the French get a bad rap. I had a horrid experience in Paris that sent me fleeing, but that had more to do with my youth, inexperience and minimal language skills than anything else. On the other hand, that woman could have been a little more understanding, but….

    However. When I got to the country side, it was delightful. People were willing to give me a little extra time, and my French improved considerably – to the point that I could pretty much navigate without English at all. And what’s not to like about all that history, and beauty, and bread and wine and cheese and….

    But I don’t need to tell you!

    People who visit Paris and say that they’ve been to France are like people who visit New York City saying they’ve been to the United States. Neither one is the repository of the milk of human kindness. People often say to me “Gosh, you’ve been all over the place.” Well, that’s not true. I’ve been to a few places and have “lived” there, for some period of time: i.e. France, Spain, Guatemala and now Panama. And let me tell you, I have seen and been embarrassed by my fellow countrymen more times than I can count. And I’m not shy about approaching those idiots and telling them “It’s people like YOU that make it hard for people like ME.”

    I also read, online, a couple of newspapers in the States and especially the “comments” readers make to stories. I can’t believe the hatred, bitterness and vitriol I find in those comments. Honestly, I feel like I have escaped from the asylum.