spiresThe white cliffs of Dover are only one side of the coin, apparently the cliffs in France are part of the same geological structure. As you can see the ones in Etretat are very similar but with the pinnacles and so forth which make them quite facinating.

After a walk to the top of the cliff (only half an hour compared to the Lonely Planets 'allow one and a half hours') we got away just after 11 am. The overnight rain had cleared up and left the town still very quiet, clean and very windy again.

The wind was especially evident on the fabulous Pont du Normandie at Honfleur. The bridge is nothing short of a work of art suspended by countless cables from two spindly towers. Signs warn of the wind, but on a bike, suspended hundreds of feet above the river, it is really very scary when you go into the shelter of one of the towers and move what seems to be several meters to hopefully only the other side of the lane. A bonus is that there is no toll for motorcycles and one of the attendants sprang out of his booth to wave us through, Brilliant!

EtretatHonfleur is a very busy tourist spot and after lunch we visited the house of  the composer Erik Satie. This has been arranged as a strange and fantastic tribute to his life and work with curious exhibits the purpose of which is in some cases very hard to fathom partly because the writing is not surprisingly in French (there is and English commentary device which is little help but does play Satie's music) and partly because it is very very odd. If you do go and figure it out, Joan and I would love to hear about it. Pictured is a curious user propelled roundabout being propelled by a curious user.

Motorcycling in France is a new and interesting experience requiring much concentration, partly because of the driving on the other side of the road but mostly because the rules are different enough to cause confusion. This was all compounded In Deauville when the BMW became unhappy, (perhaps overheated?) and started to hunt at idle and cutout several times, I wonder if the electric radiator fan is working?

The Lonely Planets Hotel de Lourdes recommendation for Lisieux turned out to be gone without trace so with the help of the tourist information lady we threw ourselves at the mercy of the Hotel St Louis which turned out to have a very nice couple running it who share Joan's interest in cats. My French was hardly up to the conversation but it was a pleasure to meet such pleasant and interesting people.

Dinner nearly became a problem as the recommended Au Vieux Normand was fully booked on this Friday evening. Luckily we found a table at the nearby Le France and had an excellent meal entertained by the nearby fairly sophisticated lady and her yorkshire terrier dining with a chap who looked like he'd just come in straight off the tractor. curious