Trainee Day: Coasting the Côte d'Opale

Last week we took this summer's group of trainees for a weekend trip to the Côte d'Opale - including hassle-full, early morning train traversals, bumper-car-your-trainee-colleague and camping with rain and fireworks. A weekend well spent.
  • Last Update:2015-09-09
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Lille backcountry: Côte d'Opale

The coast north of Lille isn't as "azur" as in the South of France - and probably called "opale" due to the clouds and rainy weather tainting the waters from time to time. Still, it's a treasure trove of endless beaches, cozy villages and white chalk cliffs and the reason you can see the Lillois pilgrim to the beaches every weekend during summer.

Trainee Day

Since the time in Lille for the first of our trainees (hey Saurabh!) was already coming to a close, and none of our current group had been to beach yet, we decided it was time for some last minute sightseeing. We were happy to see our equipe self-organize tents (and not forget them) along with train tickets without as we left for Calais early Saturday morning.

Cross Country

From Calais we headed towards the coast or more precisely Cap Blanc Nez - roughly a two hour hike - leaving behind a baffled train conductors, who seemed to consider this too long of a walk and our international group a little odd. We made good way, found out a Blackberry can pass as a boombox (in case the phone business modell no longer works) and spotted the coast of England around lunchtime.

Trainee Day: Cross Country Hike

The Beach

We had promised our trainees a lunch break with French Fries but alas, the shack we had in mind was closed for summer leaving us with empty stomachs and the second part of our hike along the beach. Still - the morale kept high as we made our way to Wissant, encountering local seafood (dead - but not eatable) and enjoying what turned out to be a very sunny day.

Trainee Day: On the beach Trainee Day: Team Summer 2015

Wissant to Wimereux

Arriving in Wissant, we scrambled for food before scrambling to the bus stop - printed bus schedule in hand. This however turned out to not be valid giving us some more time to relax on the beach, attend to our sunburn some more and take snapshots before finally parting for Wimereux.

Trainee Day: Snapshots

Making landfall in Wimereux late afternoon we still had a few hours to explore the village and measure ourselves with the locals in a violent bout of bumper-car. Without major injuries we finished off the evening over dinner before embarking for our night-time campsite - yet to be determined. We evenutally settled for a spot high on cliff, directly in the wind and close to the edge which was continuously washed away by rain (risk: check). Tent construction went smoothly and soon after we were treated to bonus fireworks in the town below making this a pretty decent first day.

Trainee Day: Camp Trainee Day: Fireworks

Washed out and Stranded

Unfortunately things changed during the night and some of us were in for a rather wet stint as the tents weathered the wind and rain - but not the rain covers. Plus we had to rise and shine early, pack up and make our way to the station to catch our morning train to our next destination. We all failed the "shining" part, but made it to the track on time only to find our train to be cancelled...

Desperate for any train leaving nowhere we jumped on the first train back to Calais and eventually found a connection to Le Touquet. A quick breakfast later, we made our way to the beach and - re-evaluating the situation .... set up camp again to sleep some more.

Trainee Day: Le Touquet Trainee Day: Sleep

Things stayed like this (spell: calm) until late afternoon when we made our way to the train station heading back to Lille - of course not without exploring downtown Le Touquet a second time, grabbing a lunch along and posing for a team picture.

Trainee Day: Team Summer 2015
(from left: Ayush, Vivek, Kristopher, Saurabh, Liu & Aaron)


  • Photo Sven Franck
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  • Sven Franck
  • sven (dot) franck (at) nexedi (dot) com