A Day in Deauville and Trouville

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Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Deauville
July 24th 2012
Published: July 24th 2012EDIT THIS ENTRY

To my mind, nothing boosts the morale as much as sun and surf. After living near San Francisco Bay from January till June, I have been feeling "land-locked" back at my place in Paris. I've also missed seeing the sun. So, when a bit of summer weather finally came to northern France a few days ago, yesterday I headed to the coast. I couldn't get away for more than a day, but that was plenty of time to have a "change of ideas", as the French say.

My destination was Deauville and its neighboring town, Trouville, in Normandy. I chose them because they are easily accessible from Paris (only a two-hour train-ride away) and because they both have wide, sandy beaches. In addition, Deauville has amenities that I really appreciate: wooden planks or "planches" stretched across the sand for comfortable walking, open-air restaurants and cafes, a "thalasso" (spa), and an Olympic-size, salt-water swimming pool. I'm not a shopper or a gambler, but I should mention it also has elegant shops, a race-track, and a world-renowned casino (where, as I was told by a gentleman in the train, American rock-singer Christopher Cross was performing over the weekend). Posters everywhere reminded me that Deauville is also the venue for the American Film Festival at the end of the summer; and the two elegant "palaces" along the beach, the Hotel Normandy Barriere and the Hotel Royal Barriere, made me dream of elegance of another era.

Trouville, is more quaint, more hilly and more typically "Norman", with its half-timbered houses, its fish market, fishing boats and wharf along the estuary. The Trouville beach, as in Deauville, also has planches and rents out, by the day, week or month, colorful parasols and changing huts, as well as old-fashioned changing boxes where you can lock up your things.

What's wonderful about these two towns is that you can walk everywhere from the train station. I arrived at 11 am and walked over to Deauville, made a 3 PM appointment for a facial at the spa, then walked up and down the beach, dabbling my feet in the 17°C water, before returning to the spa for a swim in the Olympic-size, salt-water swimming pool, a late lunch, and my one-hour long algae-facial. After that, I walked back to the estuary and took a little ferry from Deauville over to Trouville, where I spent two hours sunning and reading on the beach before walking back to the train station to catch my 7 PM train.

All in all, it was a lovely day and, as I said in the beginning, a real "morale-booster."

(Please note: As an experiment and a comparison, I have this time also posted this entry and its accompanying photos on my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/hilarykaiser . Please forgive me if you receive duplicate messages about seeing this entry.)

Additional photos below
Photos: 26, Displayed: 23


a Lucien Barrière hotela Lucien Barrière hotel
a Lucien Barrière hotel

His company also owns the casinos of Deauville and Trouville
The Deauville beach at 11:30 a.m.The Deauville beach at 11:30 a.m.
The Deauville beach at 11:30 a.m.

Interesting...I saw lots of bikinis and slim girls and women, but only saw one going topless. Is it the end of a "mode" in France?
ferry boat ferry boat
ferry boat

Here, it's coming across the estuary from Trouville
along the estuaryalong the estuary
along the estuary

main street of Trouville -- taken from the bridge leading back to the train station
The EstuaryThe Estuary
The Estuary

A friend just wrote and asked why I called the water between Deauville and Trouville an "estuary". It's an estuary because this is where the Touques River flows into the English Channel. Here's an early painting of the estuary by Paul Huet to the attached photo album !

25th July 2012

Thanks for sharing! D & T are truly magical places. Great to know that by train they're so close to Paris. They seem like a world away. The changing huts are wonderfully cheerful.
25th July 2012

Ah, this sounds wonderful!
Brings back many memories of a day on the coast to take in "le bonne air." Lovely images and interesting information.
25th July 2012

American English for "planches"
Oh you West Coast gal you! That's called a boardwalk -- as in the famous boardwalks at Atlantic City and Cony Island! LOL.... You are the BEST at making good use of time... what a lovely day! Thanks for sharing, Elaine
25th July 2012

boardwalk and "planches"
I somehow think of a "boardwalk" as being built up higher as in Bristol or something Have never been to Atlantic City, though. Thanks for clueing me in, Elaine. Are you still in Thailand???
26th July 2012

Hilary, next time try Saint Malo and see our spa, estuary, boardwalk, casinos and any beaches! we're here waiting!
26th July 2012

Deauville-Trouville Memories
Dear Hilary, Thank you, Hilary, for sharing your day on the Normandy Coast with us. It brought back wonderful memories of the years when Gerard, the boys and I had our maison de campagne about 10 miles inland from Deauville in a tiny village called Le Torquesne. Your pictures reminded me of the countless late summer mornings when we'd pack the car with kids, beach towels and toys and head to the beach for the day. At low tide, the beach seemed to stretch forever toward the horizon. And I was glad to see the wonderful fish market in Trouville where we'd often stop on the way home with something to grill for dinner at the cottage. Or on cloudy days, we'd find babysitters for the kids, and my sisters-in-law, Gerard's mother and I would head to Deauville to shop. The spa didn't exist yet, otherwise, we'd have been there, too! Those were blissful summer days in la belle Normandie. Thank you again for helping me revisit them today ... Bisous, Lana
2nd August 2012

Thanks for your informative comments, Lana! Hope to see you again sometime!
27th July 2012

Blogs from France
I love reading your blogs, Hilary and the photos are wonderful. Especially the ones of your family and darling granddaughter. I totally agree with your comment about getting the news of ALL the world which is hard to do here in the US. This entry reminds me of Coco Chanel and also Proust. What fun you must be having!! I hope to have a little fun in Paris for 4 days in October before going on a botanical tour of Madagascar. If you're still there, I'll be in Paris from Oct. 5-9. Ramona

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