In my quest to dig deep into this micro-region covering both parts of Eure and Calvados, Normandie, I stopped at a few villages and POIs today. This petite cadeaux, this tiny village was a GEM. 💝 I wandered all of her streets and popped into a handful of stores, asking my favorite question when I visit a place off-season:
“Is this a very touristic village during the summer?”
And the golden answer was NO. I was thrilled. I found not just a secret spot but a village that was relatively untouched by tourism.
And yet, my conversations turned to an interesting point that I hadn’t noticed when I first rolled through town. I didn’t have lunch here because the two dining options I found had rather dismal reviews. Visiting with one of the local store owners, she off-handedly commented, “It is a cute village, but not easy to live here.”
Oh, I remarked. The tourists season is difficult?
“Non,” she replied. “We don’t have services here.”
I paused and thought about what I had observed on my way into town. I am guilty of forever being a foreigner, an immigrant, an American who falls in love with the idyllic French village for its beauty, the facade, and unable to look past that exterior for what it might mean to live here daily.
“We have no baker, no grocery, no butcher, no gas station. I have to leave town if I need anything,” she explained.
I cringed – gas prices are soaring here (sometimes 2.5 euros per liter, or 10 euros per gallon). I scanned the little rues that looked like something straight out of a movie, and my heart sank a bit. I won’t post the name of this village yet because, well, I have opinions on how tourism is changing and negatively affecting the precious authenticity of these French villages. I want to be a steward of change, to inspire others, but I also feel a strong desire to protect the treasures I come across.
I purchased a painting from a local artist.
I visited with everyone I met.
The sunshine was so delicious,
Merci for this day I won’t soon forget.