Day two: Caps Nord-Pas and St. OmerJuly 24, 2009
“Reveille à 7:30h avec due fois snooze” Marcus insists I write. In bathrobes with our swimming trunks underneath we went to check-out “the facilities”. Sauna and Hammam were not warmed up yet, the water in the pool was cold (Marcus called me “a watje” while laughing, I didn’t disagree) but the water in the Jacuzzi had a pleasant temperature. We spend almost one hour in the facilities, then we took a shower before going back to our room. We changed and went downstairs for “le petit dejeuner”. A wonderful breakfast but I found a minus point: I missed the scrambled (or better: fried) eggs.
Le Cap Griz Nez and the Cap Blanc Nez
We left the hotel at 10:30 for a trip along the coast (from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Calais). On our way we first visited the visit Cap Gris Nez (the lowest of the two Caps, ‘only’ 13 meters) high. While driving towards the Cap Gris Nez there was a famous German canon (the V3) to be seen, a radar tower and a lighthouse. The latter had an intriguing horizontal metal construction near the top but until today we don’t what it was. While we left the car at a parking we noticed how strong the wind was. There were many clouds so unfortunately we couldn’t see Dover.
We drove on to the Cap Blanc Nez (30 metres high) with a column on the top of the Cap with plaque from WW I, saying “En memoire perpetuelle de nos camarades Francais de la Patroulle de Douvres 1914-1919. Ils sont morts afin que nous vivions puissons nous etre dignes de leur sacrifice”. Look below for some of the beautiful photos Marcus took.
I wanted to make a movie (using the remaining power) from the Cap Blanc Nez but because of the relentless wind I couldn’t get a steady shot. I had to fight for balance, my blue helmet and my black Fernet hat. Unfortunately I lost my my black hat in that fight. The wind was too strong. It was a memory to the time that I worked in Prague (my Czech friends actually presented it to me). Sorry guys! The wind was simply too strong.
We had lunch (no lunch is no option for us) in St. Omer. Marcus had a pasta Forestiere (a pasta with fungi porchini and cream), I had a pasta with Camembert and walnuts. Marcus drank most of my Chimay Blanc (I had only two sips of beer) and then had a Chimay Blue. I settled for a mineral water. Warm weather, delicious food: what a spectacular holiday!
After lunch we visited one of the main attractions of St. Omer: the Cathedral. There was a hearse in front of the church and through the majestic huge open door we could see in the back a party of mourners (obviously there was a funeral on going). Because it was such a bright cathedral we went in. In the entrance hall stood a gigantic globe vase with flowers in it on a tripod in honour (or so we thought) of the deceased. When we had just passed the globe it fell behind us from the strong wind with a loud sound. All water had already ran out as Marcus tried to rescue it. I was impressed with him for trying to rescue the flowers.
We took a walk in the beautiful public park (le jardin publique) with muddy (rotten) pathways. On the way we bought some postcards. I planned to do that in a regular post-office but when I showed the cards I selected to my FRIEND Marcus my cards were ridiculed in public. We bought my postcards finally at a local Tabac store with the stamps we bought in the post-office. We went back to Boulogne-sur-Mer for a short nap and for our one star dinner.
One star dinner in restaurant de la Matelote
The dinner in restaurant de la Matelote was in one word perfect. It comprised (for each of us) 7 courses. First we were invited to an aperitif, then followed a spoon, the starter (an asparagus salad with truffles for both us), again a spoon, the main course (for Marcus tender beef on spinach, for me a mix of vegetables, rice and spinach), followed by a final spoon before ice cream (sorbet with fresh fruit). I don’t remember what we had to drink and whether we had a final cup(s) of coffee but it was simply a perfect dinner. Afterwards we walked outside on the beach to get some fresh air (wind) and at eleven we called it a day.