Chambre d’Amour, Anglet + La Grand Plage, Biarritz
The next surf contest on the schedule led us to Anglet/Biarritz on the southwest French Atlantic coast. Anglet is the smaller town neighboring the ritzy city of Biarritz, both with beautiful beaches and cheerful boardwalk promenades for eating, drinking and sunbathing. Our whole week here, the weather was staggering around 97°F / 36°C so we spent a LOT of time à la plage.
Although we are technically in France, the area is part of the Basque Country – a region in the western Pyrenees that straddles the border of France and Spain. The Basque people have inhabited the area for dozens of thousands of years, centuries longer than any other western European people. The native Basque language is still alive, as seen on every street sign secondary to French. It’s an interesting and unique subculture, that I honestly did not know much about prior to arriving to Biarritz.
One of the most photogenic parts of Biarritz – besides the beaches – is the seaside Hôtel du Palais, which was originally Emperor Napoleon’s summer house circa 1850’s. You can see the palace below, being re-created by a local painter.
Also, we have a very special visitor with us on the road! My mom! She’s a complete francophile so when we planned our Euro-trip, she quickly hopped onboard for the France portion. When she was my age, she traveled Europe for four months solo and has returned seven times since. She’s always encouraged me to make my travel dreams a reality, so it’s been really fun to have her with us.
You may notice a recurring theme of rosé wine at sunset while we’re with my mom. I prefer rouge!
Next stop: San Sebastián, España (also Basque Country!)