Loving a city is pretty easy when you have a good friend touring you around. Miguel and I arrived in Biarritz in the morning to the open arms (actually it was double kisses… we were in France after all) of Laurent. He picked us up at the train station and brought us to our Airbnb. He was curious why we were not staying with him and I really didn’t know. I guess I am shy about asking about that kind of stuff.
I was still sick and wouldn’t be much fun without a rest but we all headed out to a nice restaurant on the oceanfront. I couldn’t tell you much about it other than it had a window ledge I could rest my head on and the walk back up was a long steep pathway, but I know the view was beautiful.
Beach Parties and €100 Beer
After a few hours (I think 5) rest Miguel and I were ready to enjoy this beautiful coastal town. We missed sunset by about 20 minutes, which we were disappointed about, but were certainly on time for the party! The boardwalk in Biarritz was alive with tented restaurants and bars and hundreds of people were celebrating summer with cheap eats and drinks. We met Laurent down there where he was with a few of his friends. After taking a quick look for some food we ended up grabbing a table and buckling down (because when you can get one, you hold on). Laurent brought his friend Julia over and we listened to great music and conversed with the group beside us. Julia and I danced on the sand and I’d never seen someone break loose quite like her – and it was wonderful! We sat down after the song ended and the group next to us had purchased a huge bottle of €100 beer for the table. It was quite the sight, paired with the party and the lights and the beach – it was easy to see why people had fun here.
As the night went on I got more tired and my bottle of party water was running out. We headed home to get a good nights rest once again, saying goodnight to Laurent and promising we’d call when we woke up.
Markets, Fish, and Beaches – How ‘coastal’
The next morning (ok… afternoon…) we woke up and called Laurent (who had already been up working for hours). He came down and met us at our apartment and joined us on our quest for food.
We wandered down to the local market in the center of town where I admired some beautiful sunflowers and took a moment to breathe. We continued our walk port-side and sat down at a lovely little harbour restaurant with fresh fish and a great view. This was our first experience of true fishy-ness when Laurent ordered crispy sardines that were more or less the whole fish. I got a salad to try to settle my stomach and give my body some fighting power outside of bread and more bread. And Miguel got muscles and calamari and learned that a ‘coffee’ is not the coffee he expected, and instead was a small shot of espresso unless otherwise ordered.
We walked along the pier and down a touristy little rock ledge taking photos of the beautiful seaside before Laurent showed us to a beach and left us to finish working. I rested on the sand while Miguel eagerly jumped in the water. We didn’t stay too long before deciding that a nap would be ideal before the evening commenced.
We had some time to kill before dinner and we both needed cash. We headed out to find an ATM and found something way better – a chocolate museum. It was a small museum with a short video and some molds, but at the end was a sample of straight up warm chocolate in a cup. And beyond that we purchased the absolute best chocolate truffles I have ever had in my entire life.
That is all there is to say about that – but it deserved a place in this blog.
Tapas and Sunsets
We walked over to Laurent’s apartment later that evening to meet with him and Julia for dinner. We were going to another little town nearby that apparently had amazing food and an even better view. On the way we stopped at a little bakery and picked up a fresh baguette, since Laurent insisted they were the best and I packed it away for tomorrows trip.
When we got to the small town we walked to the seawall and sat down at what looked like a very popular and quaint restaurant – Kostaldea. It was mostly all outside and we grabbed a small table and stools right along the edge. I say small table and stools because everything was knee level – so it felt extra ‘tapa-y’ somehow. We ordered an assortment of different tapas including calamari and muscles and meats and cheeses. Everyone had wine and I continued to suck back my trusty party water, as I was finally starting to feel better and didn’t want to jinx it.
Julia and I went down to the beach (just a few stairs away) and sat on the rocks while we waited for sunset. We looked for sea-life trapped in tide pools and she talked about deep theories regarding our existence. I guess I had just not had quite enough wine to get on board, but enjoyed the company and craziness of the whole experience.
As things started to get pink we went back to the table and all watched the sunset together. It was really beautiful. I can’t say it was the most tear-jerking sunset I’ve ever had the privilege to watch, but the experience as a whole certainly made it one of the more memorable ones.
On the way home we drove to another small town but there seemed to be a big festival and parking was non-existent. To be honest, I was not at all upset. I was really starting to feel sick again and needed to get to sleep. We headed home and packed up our stuff before heading to sleep.
A Short Trip and a Sad Goodbye
The next morning I stayed in bed as long as I could and Miguel ran out to get breakfast nearby.
When he returned we called Laurent and he came and picked us up to take us back to the train station.
The trip was far too trip and I regretted only making it a short stop on our long adventure. It’s tough to say goodbye to travel friends (For those of you that don’t remember, I met Laurent in 2013 on my last Europe trip. We shared a hostel in Lisbon and met again once more when he lived in Paris. We keep in contact online). You never know when you might see them again and if you do, just how many years will pass. I hope that the time between will not be in excess of 3 years (my goal).
And with another double cheek kiss (I really am terrible awkward at them) and a giant hug (which made him noticeably uncomfortable) we boarded for a much longer trip to Barcelona than we had banked on.