Monday, July 05, 2010
Holidays In France
We've been coming to France for years and have never known it as quiet as it is this year. There are few British tourists, fewer Dutch and even fewer German tourists about than we've ever seen at this time of year. We've seen two Italian registration plates, which is unusual although there has been a gradual decline in the numbers of Italians over the last ten years.
It's not as if we have stayed in one place. We drove from Calais to Bergerac via Blois then back via Bordeaux to St Jean de Monts then via Nantes to Honfleur, over 1,500 miles up to now.
Talking to locals there are bars and cafes closing down as there are pubs closing down in the UK. Many British people who moved here are returning to the UK, especially those who need to work as the French are reluctant to employ foreign labour.
We were out for a meal tonight and most of the restaurants around the harbour were empty, or at best had a couple of tables occupied. Some have slashed their prices, the really empty ones haven't.
Interestingly we have seen more Irish people than any other nationality in the last few days. Maybe a last hurrah before the Celtic Tiger is slain?