Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back from the Basque Country

I'm still reeling from the excitement of our last minute trip. We've been talking about going to Biarritz for over a year now & so even though we didn't have much time to plan this (less than a day), we had a great time.

It's a 7 hour drive to the south west. Despite the fact that this is the first time the Girl has been on such a long road trip, she managed quite well with her colouring pencils & snacks. We made a couple of stops & every time, I'm just amazed at how well maintained the French highways are. Of course, we're paying for it with high tolls but the toilets are clean, rest stops are plentiful & even equipped with showers, children's playground & picnic area.

So after we checked into the hotel, we headed to the beach & very soon, we realised why Biarritz is a surfer's paradise. Even before we reached the beach, we could hear the sound of the waves. Granted it was a very windy day but the waves were huge & everyone who walked along the promenade got wet.

See I was not exaggerating about the waves

The wild & rocky coastline of Biarritz

La Grande Plage, the largest beach

The next day, the sea was calmer & we did a nice walk all the way from the Côte des Basques, past the Virgin Rock & Port des Pecheurs, to the Winston Churchill passage from the Hôtel du Palais to Miramar Beach and all the way to the light house.

La Chappelle Imperiale built for Empress Eugenie
which was unfortunately closed when we were there

Musee de la Mer

If you are travelling with children, definitely check out the Musee de la Mer which is housed in a beautiful art deco building. The highlight for the Girl was the feeding of the seals (daily at 10.30 & 5.00). My favorite is the viewing gallery of the seals underwater. In the basement, the aquarium with a small selection of marine life.

I love the laid back feel of Biarritz. I'm sure the feeling will be different at the height of the summer season when it's crazy. Still it's less flashy than Cote d'azur, the people are friendly & proud of their Basque heritage & definitely has a very distinct Spanish flavour. I don't know when but I would like to go back to the region again.


Jack said...

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petite fleur said...

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