Fecamp (Normandy), France October 2023 (Tour 8)

You know the Tour is approaching it’s end when we reach Fecamp. That’s our ‘go-to’ place for the dogs’ tapeworm treatment (as required by the UK authorities).

Parking at the usual place on the harbour we made our way up past the Palais Benedictine to the vet. Thereafter, we would find time for a spot of lunch and a quick look around (not necessarily in that order).

The Palais Benedictine, where Benedictin has been produced since 1863, looks as splendid as ever. I don’t think I mentioned previously, it is a myth that the liqueur was concocted by Benedictine monks. Alexander Grand had a chemist help him develop the drink and then used the story about the monks to help promote it. No matter; it’s not a bad liqueur and; it’s produced in a truly impressive building.

Vanya wanted to spend a little time in the Van on her own and so I went off for a short tour of the town. I’d been to Fecamp three times before and not once seen inside the church of Saint Etienne and I was determined to try again. Sod’s law! I made it inside this time but all three of the naves were curtained off while the stained glass windows were being cleaned. Such bad luck.

The local priest must have seen or felt my disappointment because, after explaining why the naves were curtained off, he invited me to join him in an ante-room at the back of the church and gave me a preview of a large olive wood carving of the Nativity. It was stored, ready for the Christmas festivities, and it is a real work of art. To give some idea of scale, each human figure in the carvings below is about 12 inches high.

It was time to eat so I set off to rejoin Vanya and the dogs, taking a circuitous route around the harbour and past the small fish market.

Lunch outside ‘La Progress’ on the Quai Berigny was fantastic. Vanya went for her favourite, the Moules. I opted for the three course Plat du Jour, enjoying oysters as a starter, the biggest bucket of mussels you’ve ever seen as a main (served with the best ever chips) and finished with a very strong calvados sorbet. The service was excellent and I’d use that place again.

With the dogs fit and us fed we moved on to Saint Pierre en Port, just to the east of Fecamp, for what remained of the day and the night. The following afternoon would see us head for Calais and the train to Folkestone. Tour 8 was rapidly reaching it’s conclusion.

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