Friday, 12 July 2013

Beautiful Biarritz

France is the only country in Europe whose shores are washed by the waters of the English Channel, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Atlantic Ocean.  In another week, we will arrive at the shores of the Mediterranean, and, thereafter, a large part of this trip will be spent hugging its coastlines.  But Biarritz is the only place on this entire 15-week journey where we will see the Atlantic Ocean.  So we're making the most of it.  Last night, for instance, we had an excellent meal of a dozen Atlantic sardines (see pic below).  Of course, you eat the lot from eyeballs to fishy tail.  

This morning, Jean and I strolled through the town centre, past the famous Hotel du Palais, which Napoleon commissioned, and came out again at the Grande Plage (the great beach).  We followed the promenade around to the next, much smaller beach.  After stopping for some minutes to receive a Facetime call from our Sophie and Harvey, Jean got her feet wet in the sea.  

We then strolled back along the bigger beach, Grande Plage, soaking our ankles in the incoming waves, and sinking our feet almost completely into the wet sand as we walked.  Overlooking the Grande Plage to our left was the Cafe de la Grande Plage, and we took coffee there.  I'm pleased that they make good coffee in France.  I always say 'Pouvez vous me faire un cafe avec plus du lait et moins de cafe, s'il vous plait?  And they do a great job.

We then took a ride around the town on the little mini train I mentioned yesterday.  The tide was out, unlike late yesterday, and it was amazing to see lots of parents with small children exploring rock pools, and other features which were drowned under the in-tide late yesterday.  Biarritz was a whaling town from the 11th century.  Eventually, it became popular for certain crowned heads of Europe: Napoleon, Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, and the Tsars of Russia.  Edward and Wallis Simpson spent a lot of time here, and used to send instructions ahead to 'chill the champagne'.  Today, it's a popular holiday spot.  Surfing too.  The oldest golf club in Europe is here.

We had a quick lunch, returned to our hotel, locked up our valuables, put on our swimmers, and hit the beach closest to our hotel.  We decided to make it a quick swim, so didn't apply sunscreen, but wore our shirts into the water.  The beach was packed, the water was fantastic, and we chased a few waves.  It's been a hot day, so we didn't bother with towels.  We strolled back to our hotel in wet shirts.  I once swam in the South Atlantic.  Pretty sure this was my first swim in the North Atlantic.  We're having a rest right now.  Tonight we will hit the casino.

Our dozen Atlantic sardines
We strolled along the beach
La Grande Plage
Town Square & Saint Eugenie church
Jean, having dipped her feet
La Grande Plage

1 comment:

  1. More milk, less coffee? What has Canberra been doing to you?