Sunday, 20 January 2008

A windy place

Sometimes on your travels you come across, entirely by accident, an interesting place.

The aire de repos on the A16 in Normandy, Les Falaises de Widehem, is an example. We stopped at this spot purely to eat our picnic lunch but found a site apparently dedicated to the wind which seems to blow there all the time. I have already mentioned the wind turbines in a Photo Hunter post.

wind turbines

The view of the Baie de la Canche from the path around the area is spectacular.

At the viewing point, there are two quotes about the wind carved in stone:

L'horizon perçu par les yeux humains n'est jamais le rivage, parce qu'au delà de cet horizon, il y en a un autre, et toujours ! Flaubert

The horizon perceived by human eyes is never the shore because beyond that there is another one, always!

Le vent n'attend pas. Il franchit les montagnes, il balaie les poussières, le sable, les cendres... Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (whose father was a surgeon in the British army in Africa)

The wind doesn't wait. It crosses mountains, it sweeps up dust, sand, ashes...

On either side of the viewing point were listed names of winds on the left-hand side:

All theses names are listed on various sites such as this one in French (a good windy site!)and this in English.

list of wind actions

On the right hand side were words describing the action of winds taken from a poem by Charles-Marie Leconte de Lisle:


In 2003, Sanef, who run the autoroutes in that area, held a Concerto aux quatre vents there, and in 2007 held a jazz concert, Sonate aux 4 vents.

Just stopping there for a short while has led me to find out all these bits and pieces of information. It's the sort of thing I find fascinating - I know I have strange inclinations ;) but who knows what we are missing as we rush along trying to get from place to place as fast as possible.


  1. I wonder how many other Aires de Repos are so fascinating. Should there be a Michelin Guide, telling us particularly which ones are worth the detour?

  2. I found this very interesting and thank you for all the detail. We are having plenty (too much) wind at the moment!


  3. Elaine, I have seriously considered doing a guide about the places we miss - seriously! :)
    LR, thank you for being interested enough to read it. I just enjoy ferreting out information.

  4. See, now you sounds exactly like me! *giggles*

    I love when those things happens. That's what's so wonderful when traveling around - you never know what new things comes in your way!

    BTW: You now have access to the new Cyber Cruisers blog. Login with your already created WP userid and password and you'll have access to both the Cyber Cruisers and eventual other blogs you hold there at the same time. (Just be sure to write in the right blog ;-)

    You've been assigned the role of Author, as all the old A-Team'ers will be, which means that you'll be able to publish it directly without me reviewing it first.

    Welcome to test it by writing a post with a short introduction of yourself with a link to your blog. (not obligatory)

  5. See, now you sounds exactly like me!
    I'll take that as a huge compliment :)


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