If you hear the words Tour de France, I'm sure you instantly think of the big annual cycling race that goes across France and also sometimes has a foray into Britain (although, post Brexit, that may now be a thing of the past). Dunkirk is the host town of a different Tour de France though - the sailing one.
There were lots of people looking at the boats down by the sea edge but also lots of people enjoying a day out at the beach because it was a TER-mer day which meant that all the people in the inland towns of the region could buy a special train ticket to go to the coast for 1€. They were determined to make the most of it, even if the weather wasn't brilliant !
We had a look at some of the boats that had finished racing and were being taken apart. As we watched, this big black mast was being taken off and suddenly it overbalanced and landed with a resounding thud about a foot behind one of the guys working on another boat. He jumped out of his skin but I don't think he realised just how close to him it had fallen !
Looking at them side on, they look really flimsy. I'm not sure I'd want to sail round the whole of France on one !
The bit that interested the Madhouse kids though was the Tour de France village, packed with stands and play equipment (and best of all, all free !). At the Club Mickey tent, you could make a badge and a windmill then help yourself to a free magazine.
There was lots of bouncing going on on the trampolines. You may notice the change of clothes - it's because we came for a brief visit on Saturday then spent all Sunday afternoon here.
Pierre had a go at the training stand and took it very seriously !
We had a look at the display of "artwork" created from things washed up on the beach.
Pierre and Juliette made a kite each - hopefully we'll be able to play with those later in the week.
Not as good as a photo with Harry Styles, but Sophie posed with the seagull mascot !
There was more bouncing on the bouncy castle.
Then we headed over to the beach to see what was going on.
Pierre shot off like a rocket to claim some of the sweets that were being thrown out at the car podium and came back proudly clutching a pack.
They had a go on the big inflatable games.
Pierre had fun making sand angels !
Meanwhile I marvelled at the huge groups of seagulls that swarmed around every time someone got food out.
Despite always living in a seaside town, I'd never seen quite so many in one place so it was slightly unnerving.
The kids went dashing over to the mini sailing boats and catamarans and spent ages pushing them from one side of the pool to the other.
Afterwards, I asked if they would like to go and paddle in the sea and they didn't need asking twice !
They kept inching out further and further so they ended up getting soaked - they didn't seem to mind though !
Time for some acrobatics on the beach to warm up.
They had a competition to see who could do the splits the best !
Then Pierre shot a few hoops.
Juliette jumped so high on the trampoline that she could look over the top of the net.
And Pierre jumped some more until his clothes dried out !
It was finally time to head for home and jump in the bath to wash off all the sand before Madhouse Daddy settled in to hopefully watch France win the Euro 2016 finals. We won't mention the fact that they didn't !