We set out for our final weekend trip to Biarritz. It had been about a year (to the day) from our first trip last June, and we had been looking forward to spending some time on the beach (and in the ocean) even more this time. What made this trip extra special, though, was our company – Alexandre & Jacira! We couldn’t think of a better way to end our traveling days in France than with our favorite neighbors.
We started the trip with an early morning rise and drive west. We arrived close to lunchtime and were greeted with sun (the forecast said it’d rain all weekend). We checked into our hotel and set out for lunch at La Table Basque. If you’re looking for unpretentious & delicious food this is a spot for you. After filling up we changed into our swimsuits, lathered up in sunblock and made our way to the beach. We plopped ourselves down on La Grande Plage, jumping into the water twice and drying out a little in between.
If you like beaches, big waves, pretty sunsets, and good food…I recommend you add Biarritz to your travel list. I’ve said it before, but it might be my new, favorite beach. It’s not too crowded (at least not in early June), the weather is warm, but not hot, the water is ice cold (though it warms up after a few minutes of wave jumping), and the waves are big. The last time Jim and I had such huge smiles on our faces was our last trip to Biarritz. It’s just fun. I think this ocean also affords one of the prettiest views (from the ocean) looking back at the land. There’s an amazing view of Sainte-Eugenie church as well as all the flowers and hydrangeas.
After a couple of hours, we made our way back to the hotel, showered, and met up for drinks before dinner and a plan to watch a rugby tournament. This led to a gorgeous walk along Plage Miramar toward the Phare de Biarritz (lighthouse).
We’d decided to grab drinks at the Pavillon du Phare, thinking we could relax and watch a little rugby. However, once there we discovered there was no television showing the match, so we decided to enjoy a drink as well as the sunset, declaring we’d watch the match the next night and dine elsewhere that evening. These are some of my favorite memories – laughing and joking with Alex & Jacira regarding American and French cultural differences…manly about classic songs like, “US Boy.” Still makes me laugh today.
Dinner was an all-out feast at La Bouchon Biarrot. In fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen such large plates of food for individuals or for sharing. Regardless, it was all absolutely delicious. I started out with a degustation de jambon pour 1. I thought it’d be a little ham, but it was easily enough ham for the whole table (I shudder to think what the pour 2 entailed). Jim had a seafood starter and Alex & Jacira split what I think was probably the best appetizer of asparagus. For our entrées, Jacira ordered duck breast, Alexandre a steak, and Jim and I opted to share La Txuleta d’angus pour 2. I have to admit no one at the table really knew what La Txuleta was, but the plate came out and we were convinced it was actually meant to serve the whole table, not just the two of us. Spoiler – we didn’t finish it (though it was crazy delicious), even with help from both Alex and Jacira! On a side note, it was also some of the most delicious roasted potatoes I’ve ever had (and Alex had enough to feed two or three with his dish).
The next morning we had breakfast/brunch on the beach and witnessed what appeared to be a relay race between restaurant waiters (they were running up and down the beach with trays carrying alcohol bottles and individual poured drinks). We weren’t 100 percent sure what it was for, but it was highly entertaining to watch and impressive no one dropped or broke anything!
After lunch we explored the beach and coast a little bit more, taking in all the sights before heading back to Toulouse. Based on the photos below, you’d never think a thunder and lightening storm was on its way, but it was. After a little relaxing on the “boardwalk” and enjoying some ice-cream while playing name that tune with the local Spanish guitar player the clouds rolled in and the thunder and lightening started. Luckily, we made it back to our car to head home before it started pouring.
It was the most relaxing and lovely mini get-away, and it was such a treat to spend it with Alexandre & Jacira. We’re so lucky to have met such amazing friends while living in Toulouse and even luckier they live downstairs, love to eat good food, drink tasty beer, introduce us to French wine and foods, and travel with us.
Now we’ll have to show them around in the United States!