Normandy: Your Little Corner of Paradise
Stressed, tired? Time to take a break! This week GuestToGuest recommends you trade in public transport for a beautiful meadow and let yourself be charmed by one of our country homes in Normandy. We had the chance to speak with Etienne, one of our local hosts. Etienne lives in Sainte Marie des Champs in Haute-Normandie, and he let us in on some of his secrets for spending a relaxing holiday.
GTG: What made you want to try home exchange the first time?
I’m a professor, so I have quite a few holidays. My wife and I love to travel, and we wanted to cut down on travel expenses. The goal was really to spend less. With this in mind, I did a bit of research. I read some articles and books talking about it (home exchange), and today I’ve done eight exchanges with GuestToGuest.
Can you describe your region for us?
I live in Haute-Normandie, and what’s so special about it is the varied landscape. You can find a little of everything in Normandy: big cities like Rouen and Le Havre, the sea, spectacular cliffs nearby, as well as the countryside in the center of the region. What I like best about my region is its greenness: hedges, trees, fields… everything around my home is so green.
What advice do you give your guests?
There is so much to see and do in Normandy. Enough to satisfy the any taste or desire. In general I turn my guests towards some nice walks to take advantage of the best views of the countryside and its cultural heritage. Etretat and the cliffs, Fay manor in Yvelot, but above all the unmissable walk along the Seine… For the curious, the mythical oak tree in Allouville-Bellefosse of more than a thousand years old is something to see! For families, Caniel Lake is a great place to spend the day, there are so many activities available. Otherwise I recommend they take advantage of the house and our 700 m. sq. garden. We also invite our guests to make use of the vegetable garden.
What are the best things about your home and its surroundings?
Normandy is a central region. We aren’t far from Paris and we’re also close to the sea. As for country living, we’re at the edge of town, but also enjoy a view of the fields and its bucolic environment, so it’s the best of both worlds. We’re in a quiet corner, where there is no noise, no traffic, and everything is green, without being totally isolated from the world.
Lastly, what does home exchange mean to you?
For me home exchange is really an innovative way to travel, forward-thinking. We really enjoy it. It’s an occasion to meet people, to open our spirits to the world.