North France? Abandoned industrial areas, poverty, drugs, many grain fields. Bad weather. Strange natives. Weird habits.
The French see the area just like that! And to get a picture of the region is the film Welcome to the Sticks a nice piece of work.
In fact, people are busy telling every passerby how good things are going. That's a lie. The region is aging and emptying. And the weather is not as good as the daily weather forecast promises.
But just as factually the area is beautiful, spacious, open, rolling and very quiet. The roads of the small-scale and fine-meshed road network wind gently, but sometimes with unexpected bends through that open landscape where the most impressive cloudy skies float above.
The area is at such a tight 400 km from the Netherlands. The range of accommodation places in the once Flemish-speaking region is greater than the average tourist offer.
And that is strange. Because really much worse than here the weather is not there. The roads are a dream for every classic fan and it is full of museums (about WWI and II) and there are super friendly seaside towns where beautiful beach walks can be made.
We ended up in Hardinghen, say at Calais, but a bit inland. We had seen on the Internet that there were two accommodation options and two catering establishments. That of the two gites was right. Horcatechnically, one location was closed and the other non-existent. Fortunately there was a supermarket about a kilometer away and our accommodation was equipped with cooking facilities.
Le Château de la Motte
Gite 2-4 personnes
English is spoken
Ah, and the time when the French countryside was teeming with classic cars, that time is over. But if you look closely, you will still see them.