Seaside salve for the soul

RONAN O'CONNELL purges Parisian stress on the coast

It is not easy to get sick of Paris, but I am. For the last four days I have been traversing the enormous French capital for hour after hour on foot and via train, ferry, taxi and bus.

I have visited museums, galleries, markets, mansions, boutiques, studios, parks, gardens and monuments. It feels as if I have wandered into the city’s every nook, inhaled its every scent, savoured its every taste. Thrilling, rewarding but also exhausting.

A rest would be nice.

“That’s why we’re going to Cabourg next,” says my brother, politely declining to diss me for whingeing about experiencing too much of Paris. I have no idea where Cabourg is, what it is or why we’re going there.

When my brother says “It’s on the beach”, I have heard enough and settle into our car for the drive to the coast.

Plenty of international tourists leave Paris for the seaside. They head to the south-west of France for the surf and the fusion cuisine of Biarritz on the border with Spain. They go to the south-east for the glamour of the French Riviera.

They venture west to the beaches of Normandy for the rich World War II history.

Few foreigners, though, make it to the beach resort of Cabourg, which is much more popular with French tourists.

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