Published: June 10th 2012June 9th 2012
The start of the Tour de Biarritz!
This area, Biarritz & Bayonne, is stunning! Unique and beautiful. I feel lucky to be able to immerse myself in "normal" French life, complete with about 10 workmen doing renovations, and the comings and goings of a busy family. Beats being a tourist in a hotel any day. Even the food shops are fascinating.
Eugénie had suggested I get my international license before leaving, "just in case", and I was thrown in the deep end this morning, driving us into town in Pascale's (manual) Renault! So far, so good, and I've managed to stay on the 'right' side of the road, but Eugénie was running late for her appointment, and so of course we hit roadblocks, detours, and the start of a big cycling race...!
Pascale used to be a local tour guide for some time, and so I think I'll get the royal tour experience come the weekend. Meanwhile, Eugénie and I visited her old school, met some of her 'profs', drove to Bayonne for lunch by the river & wandered around. Her mum then took us to a PACKED outdoor cliff top bar with spectacular ocean views for pre-dinner drinks, then on to visit,
Eugénie's old school: Villa Pia
in their family home, the twin girls, Lisa et Armelle, who were in Australia with Eugénie, and whom I got to know quite well. They turn 18 on Sunday, so I think we'll be helping celebrate... :D
Wow!! Just back from the most wonderful day out!! Pascale (the ex-tour guide - now History/Geography teacher), took Eugénie and me around & up & down the French side of the fascinating Basque region, at the foot of the Pyrenees. Ancient towns & villages, with amazing buildings, streets, views, shops, restaurants and friendly people.
Saw, by chance, a wedding in St Jean de Luz, in the same church that Louis XIV was married in 1661!
I'm struggling in the shops, as my baggage allowance within Europe is 20kg, and I'm already up to that, so I can't let myself buy too much. Unless, perhaps, I post a parcel of stuff to myself in Holland... hmmm...
12 people for a dinner party tonight!
There are more photos below