I’ve just read a short story about Wimereux in France; at the moment this is the closest I get to travelling anywhere. It’s a town we have visited in various seasons as it’s a short trip for us, just the other side of the channel. We’ve even stayed in a in seafront hotel in the summer, with a room that opened out on to our private terrace looking over the esplanade.
All through the summer months, this is a perfect seaside resort for a short holiday, with hotels, restaurants and cafes all facing the sea. It’s impossible not to stop and have a coffee or a beer, an ice cream or frites and something. When you come back to the main street through the town, there is an equally good choice of restaurants and cafes but more often than not we end up at La Vie Est Belle, for their delicious food and warm welcome.
We have visited in December, just before Christmas and woken up to find snow falling. Walking through the high street we heard the Nutcracker suite filling the air and the whole town lit up by a Christmas vibe.
In spring we have parked the car and headed for the sea front for a walk along the esplanade only to be confronted by massive waves crashing on the pavement and sending spray and sand flying into the side roads. Back to the main road and warm cafes.
On Fridays there is a market, which is home to a cheese van with a great range of very local cheeses as well as the usual favourites.
And no visit is complete without a visit to our favourite shops, La Sablerie to buy biscuits which are like little works of art, Ma Normandie to stock up on cheese and butter and the greengrocer which reminds me of my childhood, with its beautiful array of fruit and vegetables. Of course there is also an impressive choice of butchers and bakeries for the staples and an excellent fishmonger.
When you visit a place in different seasons, you make a bond with it that’s not possible when you travel as a tourist checking off the must see sites. There is always more to discover and each location becomes a friend, rather than a location.