Our French Adventure
Now that the winter is well and truly here, I’ve been enjoying looking back over our lovely, (and sunny!), pictures taken during our mini-break to France, over the October half term. We visit France regularly, and we’ve always loved it. We’re very lucky that my husband speaks French. This makes it easier for us to get by and do things, especially as I get tongue-tied when attempting to speak French!
My husband found us a lovely little cottage located on a working farm, just an hour outside of Calais. It’s a beautiful, old-fashioned cottage set within a very quiet village, and in stunning surroundings. It was idyllic, and perfect for a relaxing break away.
We explored our new home and found three very friendly (but very bouncy) dogs who became a complete favourite of my daughter. They would come running over every morning, and my daughter would love leaning out of her window to see them on guard. While we were wandering around, one day, the farmer ushered us into one of the big sheds. He showed us one of the baby calves that had been born that very night! It turned out that he was a twin, and Mummy-cow was delivering another calf. My daughter was so amazed and, if she could, she would’ve stayed all day and helped the farmer deliver the other baby!
We had such a wonderful time. If you’re in France on a Sunday, you have to visit a local street-market to buy some tasty treats and, of course, a roasted chicken. This is a “must-have” (for meat lovers) when visiting a traditional French market. The chickens are cooked on a rotating spit with open flames, and the scent hits you as soon as you enter the market. It’s real treat for us, and a change from the usual “traditional” Sunday roast. We enjoy a juicy roasted chicken, along with a selection of fresh salads. There are fresh cheeses, crusty baguettes, the most delicious cakes and pastries that you could imagine, and the variety of vegetables and fresh fruit is always amazing. I love this way of shopping.
My daughter enjoying her favourite French meal of Moules and frites!
One of my favourite days was when we went for a bike ride. The weather was beautiful and, after changing two flat tyres, we were off. Riding through the villages, looking at the little farms and enjoying the flat paths was amazing. Luckily, we encountered no steep hills and, after a short stop in a little cafe for cold drinks and ice cream, we gained some much-needed energy before heading back home. In total, we rode just over 10k.
My husband was amazed, as he hadn’t been on bike since he was a young boy. We all agreed that French bike-saddles were a LOT less comfortable than our lovely gel seats at home! The irony is that we rode through the village of Agincourt, and my husband was convinced that his sore “derriere” was some kind of French revenge for the famous battle which, incidentally, took place exactly 599 years to the very day that we visited!!
We also spent a wonderful day at a nearby aquarium in Boulogne. My daughter wants to be a marine biologist when she’s older. She loves visiting aquarium, and this one is truly amazing. It’s probably one of the best I’ve ever been to. There are thousands of different species of marine life to look at, all set in huge tanks replicating their natural environment. There are also lots of environmental projects to show children how we can protect endangered species, great talks and films shown throughout the day explaining about things like the impact of pollution on the marine environment, as well as responsible fishing and so much more. (It’s also a great chance for weary parents to rest their feet!). The main attraction for my daughter is the shark tank. She loves to sit and watch, mesmerized, as these huge creatures glide gracefully and silently through the water. The aquarium is located on the beach, and so we were able to have our picnic lunch overlooking the sunny scenery, followed by-play on the sand. It was hard to believe that it was October, with such wonderful weather.
We had such a lovely, relaxing time and staying on a farm was so interesting for my daughter. There was so much to see and explore, so it was a perfect venue for an outdoor-loving family. It may seem like a lot of work, what with biking, walking etc. There wasn’t much “sitting by a pool in the sun, sipping cocktails” but, for our family, this was activity-filled, fun-packed heaven.
It’s our type of holiday, and we can’t wait to plan our next family adventure abroad!
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