Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Post Christmas Trip, Sunset at Biarritz

We returned to Europe Monday after flying overnight. True to form we retrieved our lost bags, unpacked and then repacked within several hours. Our post-Christmas road trip awaited us! Last year we drove from Belgium to Lake Como, Italy. This year our destination: Basque Country, Spain and the Dordogne region of France. Yep we traveled 1300 miles in a car. With a two-year-old. Do they make medals or t-shirts for that? They should.

Day one we traveled as far as we could to get some driving hours under our belt. We made it to Tours, France south of Paris.
The next day we woke up at 10 AM (oops, jet lag kicked in and we mercifully slept through the alarm).

We traveled to the spa town of Eugenie les Bains. Thinking it would make a cool on the way stop we unintentionally detoured several hours out of our way and the town ended up being a dud. It was raining and we didn't even get out of the car. Oh well, live and learn. Thankfully Connor is a car sleeping champ. She used the extra time to begin readjusting to European time.

Finally by sunset we made it to Basque Country. First real stop - Biarritz, France. We would also make it to San Sebastian and Bilbao in the coming days if you are tracking us on adjacent map. I tried to learn about the Basque people and their history; it is quite complex. They do have their own language and are traditionally a stubborn folk. I hope to one day read The Basque's History of the World to better understand this place.

After a LONG day of travel we finally arrived at Biarritz in time for sunset. We ended up thankful for the day's detours because otherwise we may have missed the beautiful light at dusk.
Biarritz is a glitzy resort town that was once a high-class aristocrat-magnet dubbed the "beach of kings." Perched over a popular surfing beach, anchored by grand hotels and casinos, hemmed in by jagged and picturesque rocky islets at each end, and watched over by a lighthouse on a distant promontory, Biarritz offers perhaps the most picturesque stretch of the French coastline.
We were giddy to be out of the car - at long last. I love this photo of Kirk and Connor at the waterline. The air was - dare I say - warm. So we peeled off our coats and skipped in the sand.
The sunlight turned from golden yellow to rosy pink.
We climbed up the hill overlooking Biarritz. Those surfers stayed out in the waves til well after the sun went down. They were hard core! Hang Ten!
For Connor, it was time for ice cream!
Biarritz was a wow. We ate a quick dinner across the street from this Casino at a place called "The Players Club" but buying pizza was the extent of our gambling. I am a sucker for these grand dame places with wide beach promenades and a fancy dress code. You don't need long in Biarritz, but definitely don't pass it by.


julie said...

You were right...we were in the same part of France. We had to drive a little to see the water though. Have you been down the Romantic Road in Germany? You have been EVERYWHERE so my guess is that you have already seen the German Castles!

EOlivas said...

Wow, I have to ask you since I too have a 20-month old daughter. How did your child do with the road-trip. Any special toys, games? We are planning a trip from Split,Croatia to Tuscany, Italy (about 10 hour drive) and I am thinking of ideas to keep her entertained.

I stumbled upon your blog and I am glad, Your trips and pictures are wonderful.
I will be back for more!