Updated: Aug 21, 2021
Have you experienced the sensations that a sound can evoke you before you have started visiting the place?
For me, it was the singing of the gulls gathering by the beach. It felt like the celebrations for freedom and holidays. I remember it clearly when I was walking in Brighton, England. Even in the city center, they were chanting all along to make me conscious that I was by the sea and that perhaps I was in their territory.
When I have arrived at Trouville-sur-Mer on Friday noon, I had this Deja-vu. This familiar, resonant sound brought back those sweet, salty memories.
Trouville is definitively not just a city by the sea. It is a beautiful, artistic one imbued with character. For any art, literature, and sea lover, it is an ideal combination.
After two months of staying in Paris, I felt like a bird in a cage, since the lockdown. The severe restrictions started losing up slowly. Beginning of July, I was excited to make my first official journey to the seaside. Even more so to a city, I longed to visit for quite a while.
I have heard many stories about the two famous city sisters in Normandy. Deauville and Trouville that are only being separated by a bridge. They share the same train station. Renowned as an ideal seaside resort holiday destination.
I was inquisitive to discover them and to find out about their particular refinement.
Trouville was such a pleasurable breath of fresh air.The sandy beach with colourful parasols was a delightful picture to stare. As a mellow scene of a romantic French movie.
I was strolling slowly on the sand. Looking at the green shade of the water, accompanied by the music of the birds. Enveloped by the grey-blue skyline. It was those calmness and serenity that I wished for, and that I could have finally attained.
View from the beachfront.
Not only the silky green sea on the horizon. On the other side, while walking on the promenade (la promenade des planches) Trouville unveils its poetic,thoughtful soul. I was glaring at the magnificent buildings all along. Each of them carries a stamp and identity of its own. Leading French auteurs from different periods: Flaubert, Proust, and Marguerite Duras frequently came to the sea resort picturesque town,were intensely attached to it,and contributed to its growing appeal. Their traces are printed in some of the houses. Flaubert was in love with a habitant of Trouville Elisa Schlesinger. She was an inspiration to some of his novels.
Even though Trouville seems like it was forever an established city. It used to be a fisherman village. The painter Charles Mozin visited Trouville in 1825 for the first time, fell under its charms, started to arrive regularly, and paint it. It had made an impact on other painters that followed him.
The impressionist painter Monet was very much inspired by Trouville beachfront. He painted his wife Camille in some of his famous portraits by the sea.
If I was now in the 19th century, I would have probably walked myself with this white lacy umbrella on the beach, protecting my skin from the dazzling sun.
Like in England, her neighbor You can get the 4 seasons in a day in Normandy. Cause from a windy fresh temperature morning, it changed radically to quite a hot day in the late afternoon. At the evening it got cooler just to warm up again in the late hours.
There is plenty to see while walking on "la promenade des planches" You will spot some posters of one of the most Iconic painters and graphists of Trouville. Raymond Savignac
The magnificent Museum Villa Montebello.
Not only the building itself is outstandingly beautiful. But the exhibitions there give you an incredible journey to the maritime life in Trouville.
It's an eclectic exposition from paintings,
Beach dressing, huts, and umbrellas from previous centuries. From the big windows, reflected the view of the spectacular sea.
I don't know if it's the post lockdown times, but they all made me very nostalgic to much more romantics, humbles,innocents periods. Looking meticulously at the French art makes you fully understand the saying." L'art du savoir-faire."
The Normandy sea and the fish market
Did I mention before the velvety green sea? The Normandy sea does have this green-coral shade even at a closer perspective but is quite unpredictable. From the shore, it looks so inviting,soft, embraces you with stillness. We did a short cruise.(le Gulf Stream 2 just by the port) It felt like I was being on a Roller Coaster, with high,dynamic waves,shaking the boat from side to side, quite adventurous for 4 o'clock in the afternoon.
But hey, isn't that life all about? unexpected surprises.. "How was it going, alright"?asked me smiling the confident Captain Guy Perchey. Looking back at the sea,turning miraculously quiet again once we have reached the shore,I could understand its magical power over painters and writers through the decencies.
Talking about " Savoir Faire," One of the most favorites places for locals and tourists is the Fish Market.
The variety of Fish displayed so esthetically in the stalls can confuse any vegetarian who happens to pass by.
Arranged by colours, sort, and sizes. (the scent was appetizing) Here you have a lively impressionist picture.
People were eating lobsters or calamari on the tables, besides drinking a glass of wine.
There is a lovely Fish Brasserie- restaurant in front of the fish market. "Le central."
It is spacious, smart and friendly. Eating fresh and very tasty salmon filet with spinach, for dessert,I have tried the ice cream flavored apple.The ice cream made in Normandy dominating flavour typical for the region is calvados.)
The experience was gratifying. Not only was the food being delicious, but also the service was professional and friendly. The nonstop variable audience who came inside the restaurant was a kind of theater spectacle on its own.
Rue des Bains
This is the main street in Trouville, where you can enjoy walking and discovering cozy cafes, independent shops,wine bars and restaurants. It is quite hectic and animated in the day as night. It is pretty long and curving, One of the places worths stopping by and sitting in its backyard garden is "Villa Gypsy"an artistic Cafe, serves local products with a vegan touch.
While strolling in rue de Bains, you notice that there are many secretive alleys,winding up as to a mysterious valley. I have seen by chance this beautiful flowery patio. The neighbors were sitting and chatting,They even invited me to join in. I asked them if i could write about the location of this place,because it's a private house.they smiled timidly "we prefer it stayed hidden". I vividly advise you to just enjoy getting lost in Trouville city center, you might discover other quaint lanes that will become your little secret.
It's important to raise your head,so you won't miss the abundant creative posters,and art street painting, an inevitable part of Trouville identity . From classic to alternative,they are simply in every corner.On a wall of a shop,up above a building or in other variable places.Trouville is the queen of the posters.
Trouville and Deauville
Those two cities are like two sisters the best friends or the proud rivals? It depends on how you look at it.
Trouville has this deep, profound beauty that demands "few more dates" until it reveals all its treasures. Don't let the popular and the "down to earth" side of it misleads you.Trouville Sur Mer is loaded with history and anecdotes. I have also found it extremely elegant. As I mentioned in the beginning, it is very arty and sophisticated. (There are also many literary events such as: festivals of literature and poetry,exhibitions happening all along the year)
While Deauville splashes lots of foam and glitters. The glamour and the glitz of the stars frequenting over the years. There is the American Film Festival taking place every year in September. The prestigious 5 stars Hotel Normandy. In the city center, the streets are pretty straight and not much of secretive lanes. Many luxurious shops. A nice market, (twice a week) but expensive.
Both cities have impressive casinos and fancy long promenade. (la promenade des planches). On second thought,they complete each other with their own unique qualities.
I loved the walk between them. When the sun comes out of the clouds, it sprinkles the landscape with sparkling light. While strolling from Trouville to Deauville (about 15 min), you can enjoy this fantastic view.
Trouville -after noon.
I didn't expect to see so many people walking by the beachfront in Trouville, Saturday, late afternoon. The sunlight was intense. While Restaurants and Cafes were filling up. It became boisterous. Strolling again in Rue des Bains was relaxing. As I didn't have a hat, there were some shadows, and the temperatures were still ideal for walking. I could have endured the lovely scenery.
I would like to recommend you the quaint, cozy hotel I stayed the night" Maison de la plage" located in rue de la plage. 5 minutes' walk from the beach and the city center. Its colours: light blue and cream blend harmoniously with its surroundings. It is an atypical place. The delicious homemade breakfast is being served in a hall decorated with antique pieces of furnitures.
Trouver- this verb in French means to find. Hides and revealed in the name of the city. You might spot something new and original in a dreamy city that was once discovered.So dear reader, what will you find out when you will be in Trouville?
Credit Photos- Niva Josef
Tourism Office -Trouville- Sur- Mer