Mussel Man

It rained all night and this morning, but when the weather broke late this afternoon, we hopped in the car for a drive around the northern end of the peninsula before ending up back in Soulac-sur-Mer for dinner. Were we in for a treat, fresh mussels. Mmmm, mmm.

We noticed that the other diners had an inventive way to eat. They used one of the mussels like pincers to pull out the meat. Like this:

This mussel man mastered the technique:

Mission accomplished. We must have gone through 200 mussels between the two of us.

Not only was the food great, but we had a seat overlooking the beach. Here’s the view from our table.

And a decent price, too. Full servings for two, bottle or wine, bottled water and coffee for just under €50, tax and tip included, less than it would have cost in the Keys for an inferior meal.

But I’m posting the receipt so you can see why things in Europe, generally, seem expensive: VAT, the Value Added Tax. It’s like a sales tax and it’s applied to everything you buy. In Denmark, it was generally 25%; here where we are in France, it’s more reasonable at 7% on most things, but 19.6% on alcohol.

Ouch! That was the only thing that was difficult to swallow.

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