Travel Journal – September 2015 – Biarritz (day 2) to Bordeaux (day 1)

I assume that, having passed the baton to me, Adam’s excitement at being a travel blogger has gone the same way as his baking obsession (which lasted two weeks) and his Nutribullet (four weeks).

Actually Matthew, I still use the Nutribullet for my breakfast I just get up 2 hours before you so you wouldn’t notice.  Also, it’s not my fault that everything I baked tasted like washing up liquid.

However, for you, dear reader, this can only be a good thing.

I take up the blogging on the morning of our second day in Biarritz…

After a sit down shower (the apartment we were in had a sloping ceiling and standing was not an option) we quickly erased all traces that we’d ever been there. Our train from Biarritz to Bordeaux wasn’t until the early afternoon so we arranged to leave our luggage and go for a final explore/ice cream.

I was disappointed that after 10:00 all the nearby café’s already seemed to be closing up for a siesta. Do they even have siesta in France?! So instead, we headed to Biarritz market ‘Les Halles’ in the hope of finding an indulgent patisserie. Several aisles of enormous vegetables and pungent cheese later we continued our search for breakfast.

Market with Matt

With our hunger pangs mounting we found brasserie Le Royalty (http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g187080-d1809240-Reviews-Le_Royalty-Biarritz_Basque_Country_Pyrenees_Atlantiques_Aquitaine.html) where we picked up petit dejuner of bread, croissants, preserves, OJ and hot drink for 7€. Just around the corner we found Maison Adam (http://www.maisonadam.fr/boutique-en-ligne/), and you can imagine the squeals of excitement that he’s supressing in this picture.

Maison Adam

We had a couple of hours to kill, and wanted to soak up as much of the incredible view as we could, so headed back to the beach and headed north. There was a lighthouse in the mid distance, and before we knew it, we were climbing steps to get to its base.

Lighthouse in Biarritz

Stopping briefly to watch what Adam said was ‘a poor blind woman thinking she’s fishing’

Blind woman fishing

The view from there was good, but somehow not quite as breath-taking looking back at the bay as it was looking out from it. We grabbed a quick drink (Adam: Water, Matt: Fresh OJ) and tried our luck with the giant sundial…which thought it was 3 in the afternoon in November.

Still a great view

Adam also got excited on seeing a quintessentially French looking guy in a beret.

FRENCH MAN

FRENCH MAN

As we made our way back to collect our luggage we stopped in for another ice cream. After some time Adam emerged from Dodin (http://www.dodin.eu/) with two ice creams and having ‘educated’ the French on grapefruits. A quick beer later and we were on the road again.

Having watched 3 series of The Amazing Race before our travels, I got super excited every time we got on a new mode of transport! The bus to Biarritz train station cost 1€ and took us about 25 mins.

Matt wanted this image for some reason

Matt wanted this image for some reason

We arrived about an hour before our train, but with enough time to book our tickets and eat lunch. I had a steak which was still mooing, but despite my reservations I ate it, and was pleasantly surprised.

Our train was BUSY, thankfully we had reserved seats. I made some good headway through my book (Five People You Meet In Heaven – 3 stars) and Adam went through the photos to determine which ones were publishable.

Arriving in Bordeaux was the first time that my meticulous planning let us down. Following a fair amount of UK-based stress (hiring a car without a credit card is tricky) and several laps of the station we failed to find the car hire office. It turns out it’s a good 15 minute walk from the station in a sketchy area. Despite having booked over the phone with Avis before leaving, the car hire lady bamboozled me with additional charges, deposits, insurance uplifts and other things. I’d like to tell you how much the car hire cost, but frankly I don’t know!

Driving in central Bordeaux is NOT recommended. Pedestrians have no regard for the road, likewise for bikes, and most of the other motorists. Add to that rush hour traffic, narrow 18th century cobbeled streets and a backwards car and it’s an understatement to say that I was a bit stressed.

We found a secure car park (Place Camille Julian, not exactly a bargain at 19€ per day, but it was largely our fault for booking a car for what was essentially a city break!). We collected the AirBnB keys and entered the property. After hanging out in a dark, damp tunnel which smelled strongly of fish trying to figure out which apartment we needed, we eventually realised we were in the wrong building, on the wrong street!

Scary Alley

Once we finally found our digs we dumped our stuff and took a moment to recover from the stress of the whole situation.

We had a quick walk around the local area we decided to take dinner at Le Chaudon, largely because it looked like the sort of restaurant that Carrie Bradshaw would casually hang out in. On reflection she’d probably stretch a little further than 19€ for a three course meal, and I wouldn’t blame her.

We retired to the apartment to devise a plan for the following day.