Deauville is first mentioned in 1060; obviously it was a seaside village which gradually grew into town. Its rapid development actually began in mid-nineteenth century, with the building of the railway. Today, one can get to Deauville from Paris Gare St. Lazare by train in about two hours. If you are lucky, you may catch a direct train; or you may have to change at Lisieux, a charming little town with the huge cathedral dominating the view. Deauville has the population of about 5,000; it is called the Parisian Riviera; it is also home to the annual American Film Festival which attracts many celebrities. Its many hotels, spas, the large sandy beach on the shores of La Manche (the English Channel if you look at it from the shores of Great Britain!), its restaurants and cafes, casinos, famous brand-name shops and boutiques all make it into a pricey posh resort town. The hippodrome is another attraction for those who love horse racing. Surprisingly, it is also a wonderfully maintained and preserved little town, well-known for its associtation with such great names as Gustave Flaubert, who used to stay at Villa Strassbourger, Marcel Proust, Gillaume Apollinaire and many others. Coco Chanel opened her first boutique there in 1913. The long Promenade de Planches has changing cabins dedicated to the many celebrities who visited Deauville. Walking along the beach, one can imagine what it looked like on D-Day in June 1944, when the Allied Forces made their landing in Normandy; the actual point is about an hour’s ride away.
It is very easy to find your way in and around town. One may wander for hours, enjoying the views, snapping pictures of almost every building, staring at Normandy Barriere Hotel or relaxing on a bench in its gardens, watching the Casino activities, and window-shopping. One can also take an excursion bus and take a leisurely sightseeing tour from the Mairie (The Mayor’s Office) Square. If you wish to stay a few days but the five-star hotel with three swimming pools does not quite appeal to your budget, Hotel Continental is a good choice. It can be seen from the railway station, once you get outside just turn to your right, it is about 3 minutes walk away. The staff speak English; the rooms are quite spacious, with a large en-suite bathroom; they have all the modern conveniences, and the buffet breakfast offers a good selection of breads, cheese and ham, jams, beverages, jogurts; one can also boil some eggs. Lots of shops, boulangeries and patisseries provide tasty foods throughout the day. We liked the local sort of stuffed pie called “fougasse”, it has many varieties and it is very nourishing. There are all sorts of sandwiches, cakes and buns, salads and seafood to go. You may relax in any of the numerous cafes and restaurants in the evening. A weekly market is held in the town center, with lots of fresh produce, foods and goods. This being a seaside place, naturally there are lots of seafood and fresh fish sold too.
Deauville is a lovely place to visit!










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