This past weekend was a fun trip up to the northern coast to hang out at a seaside(ish) apartment in Merlimont (near Touquet)

After the always-fun exercise of getting Monsieur out of the apartment and into the car, removing yet another parking ticket from under the windscreen wiper, getting onto the highway, getting lost, going through the invariable narrative of 'did I pack this and that and the toothbrushes', turning back because he's forgotten something, getting lost again, we arrived several hours later (no, I am not exaggerating for comic effect, it is always like this, I've never experienced anything like it before).
Downtown Touquet, you'll need your sunglasses at night
We spent a chunk of time exploring the neighbouring town of Touquet, a resort town that was once particularly fashionable with the English upper crust (post WWI) and has the dubious honour of being the place where PG Wodehouse was arrested by ze Germans in WWII. Nowadays it's an overpriced tourist resort whose highrise beachside apartments and garish nighttime flashing neon signs drown out the charm of the belle epoque buildings. But it's worth a tour nevertheless.

Our night was spent enjoying a sunset trek along the dunes, a drink at an overpriced pub playing bad 80's music, and a meal at an overpriced restaurant serving bad Italian table wine (which we sent back after failing to find any alcohol content in it whatsoever - the waiter placated us by saying it was a hit with English tourists. Lesson 1 in how to placate French diners; insult the English).
I don't know what this is, but it's dinky
Sunday was more of the same - with more beach and dune exploring and less time in town - oh, and another parking ticket (!!) because contrary to pretty much everywhere else in the Western world, Touquet (who have decided they're not quite rich enough yet), ONLY charge for parking on the weekends, and not on weekdays. And how many people - lured by ice-creams and carousel music - get caught out, do you think...?

Oh, and in exiting news (for me anyway), I drove back into Paris! As someone who go their license as soon as I was legally able, it's been very weird to have not driven in so long (a year!) and doubly so being on the opposite side of the road. Driving though Paris' outer districts was a little nerve-racking, I must admit. Still, it's another step towards integration - once I start using my hazard lights as a method to override any illegal double parking manoeuvre and honking my horn at anyone who dares execute a left hand turn into a side road in front of me - even if they're indicating, then I'll be the real deal...


  1. Sounds exquisite!

    Now, just a question - do you have a drivers licence here?

  2. er...heehee. I have an AUSTRALIAN drivers licence, and I had an international permit up till a month ago. I have been too lazy to figure out what I need to do legally regarding that (mostly because I'm scared it'll cost me a packet of $$$)

  3. Nice website … no doubt … I’m developing a website for the english speaking community of Paris, thinking, what about a link exchange, since both of us are speaking about english speaking Paris !!! Here is my site … http://www.kigoobe.com/meetup

  4. Hey, regarding the driving schools, anybody know a cheap driving school ? The cheapest I have found so far was 600 euros ... I will go for my driving licence soon, and looking for a cheap one if possible ...

  5. actually, I've since found out I can simply trade my aus licence for a French one. I don't know if you already have an o/s licence sourav, but if you do, it's worth checking with your consulate how you can change it over. If you are going for your licence for the first time, well I only know that it's expensive over here!