When I rediscovered this photo last week while writing about the Côte d'Opale, I just knew that I should dedicate a post to it. Sangatte is the tiny little town that we stayed in when we visited France in June. Located along a small stretch of coastline, this is the type of town where people build their holiday cottages. I always say that you should take note of where the locals take their holidays.
We stayed in a spacious room at La Maison Blanche, located just minutes away from the beach. There is one main road in Sangatte, a church where we witnessed a wedding party on the Saturday, a couple of restaurants and a wonderful shop where we went each day to buy fresh baguettes, cheese, meats, and the sweetest chocolate soufflé cake I have ever tasted. It was simply divine.
We took long walks along the beach, admiring the muted tones of the grey and white cliffs, the rough, pale sandy beach and the turquoise sea. All along the coast were the remains of wartime lookout points where the German’s held strategic positions and kept the Allies at bay. To this day, the brutal concrete structures remain as if to remind us how close we came to defeat.
It is impossible to visit this region without confronting its wartime history. Less than an hour up the coastal road, you will find the city of Dunkerque (anglicised as Dunkirk) and there are several war museums and memorials situated throughout Nord-Pas-de-Calais. This is an area where history is alive and you can almost taste the metal and shrapnel still present on the wind.