Continuing on our journey west,driving along the coast of France, the next city we visited was Tourville. I heard much about city, where Parisians spent their summers. I was told, that stores are boutiques and no chain stores are there, very expensive in every aspect ,food, shopping and hotels. I looked forward to seeing this beauty Queen , of the North. I expected a Grand Dame ; with beautiful buildings and elegant mature people everywhere
We arrived around noon (apres midi), so the town was in full activity. The traffic into the city was heavy, and I do not know if it was normal volume or tourist volume. The first thing to do , was to park the car, and walk around.
Upon this journey- one notices the stark contrasts of architecture. There are older homes next to contemporary cement hotels.
No smooth line of transition is visible. Also, i noticed a large building , very nice, that was boarded up – on the pier – that is going to be destroyed to make room , for more concrete apartment boxes .
While we walked around, parked along one side of the pier wall, was tons of campers , and the people set up there! So as you walk pass them, you see their lives in sad minute chapters, woman walking with dirty children to some unknown place. A dog barking as we walk by , protecting the tin can camper, called home; Laundry drying on make shift clothes lines , underwear in full sad sight.. it looked like a White Trash Trailer Convention..
The majority of the people we saw, were tourists, and most were Eastern European. However, the quality of persons were hard to detect. I also think, what created more confusion to me, was a very large casino , that attracted a lot of people on the pier ! I did not want to go inside, for my experiences, was becoming a state of constant disappointments.I lived for a short time in Las Vegas, and I do not think this place could fair well, in that comparison.
The only saving grace was we saw a boat come in for the day, with his day’s fish catch ! I noticed it very quickly, and nic asked how i knew this .
I said ” easy – look at the birds flying above the boat..he has fish in there, and the birds want it , so they follow him into the harbor, waiting for him to start cleaning the fish”. I love being a kid from the shore, these images bring back my childhood,when i spent hours on the beach – not worrying about UVB and UVA damage.
We found this building very odd- this design, we will find alone the coastline, built by Germans. On this base, they built a clubhouse ? .. very odd looking when you view all the other buildings.
I heard so much about his town , even the movie GIGI, speaks of this town ! I was looking for Victorian homes, painted in pastel colors to match the sunset colors. I was looking for tons of window boxes, over flowing with beautiful flowers. I was hoping to see, chic french people , dressed in wonderful nautical outfits; I found none of this . Instead, I found this city,more like an old beauty queen. You can see the wonderful bones and structure that was once so prominent, and commanded attention by fans.
But like an old beauty queen , that has made bad decisions, her beauty has faded..,a face lift that pulls the face too tight, and now looks unnatural ( cement apt building) , coloring her hair like she was 25 years old , instead of allowing some classic grays to peak thought ( keeping true to her water port nature) wearing clothes that do not suit her age ” a casino on the pier , which does not look elegant in beige concrete ). It was so disappointing, we decided to have lunch at the next city .
So in traveling, I would not put this on my next trip – I would skip the Lost Beauty Queen, Tourville. I would only come back, in a time machine, with Christopher Lloyd with his crazy hair…ha !