It has been hot in Paris so we decided to visit the Normandy coast. Étretat is best known for its cliffs, including three natural arches and the pointed “needle”. Although the 80-mile stretch of sheer cliffs between Dieppe and Etretat, in upper Normandy, is mirrored by those of the English coast of Dover, pointing to their shared geological origin, no other section of the French shoreline resembles the unique breathtaking seascape of La Côte d'Albâtre, the Alabaster Coast. These cliffs and the associated resort beach attracted artists including Eugène Boudin, Gustave Courbet and Claude Monet, and were featured prominently in the 1909 Arsène Lupin novel “The Hollow Needle” by Maurice Leblanc. It is a charming seaside village with beautiful sea vistas, hiking trails and a beach, rocks in the French tradition. The rocks on the beach actually come from the white cliffs which are composed of flint. The beach stones (called rollers) have become rounded and smooth from centuries of ocean action and protect the town, it is prohibited to remove them. Two of the three famous arches are seen from the town, the Porte d'Aval, and the Porte d'Amont. The Manneporte is the third and the biggest one, and cannot be seen from the town.
The Musée d’Orangerie was originally built in 1852 as an orangerie or winter shelter for the orange trees destined for the Tuileries Gardens. Over time, the building was used for soldiers, sporting and musical events, industrial exhibitions, and rare painting exhibitions. In 1921, the administration of the Beaux Arts designated the Orangerie as an annex to the overcrowded Musée du Luxembourg.
The Bellagio also contains a Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. In total, there are five seasonal themes that the Conservatory undergoes: Chinese New Year, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. The plantings are usually pretty spectacular so we decided to drop in. The day we visited, a harpist was playing as you can see to the left of the picture above. Such a beautiful place.
The conservatory is enclosed in an old-fashioned glass and copper roof.