Wednesday, 10th September

After a relaxing evening catching up on some sleep we got up and out of the hotel early to explore Bayonne and Biarritz before making our way to Bordeaux.

Finding the perfect parking spot outside the old town of Bayonne, we were immediately drawn to the old apartment buildings. A quick glance would have you think they are old and run down but there was just something about them that was charming.
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The town was quaint with small narrow buildings and cobbled streets. Our first mission was finding somewhere to grab a coffee and something to eat. It was a mission as it was really early and nothing was open yet. Finally, we found a bakery and had a ham and cheese pastry that was incredible. (Note: Upon returning home to Australia and watching an episode of  Luke Nguyen’s France we discovered that Bayonne is famous for its basque ham! No wonder it was so good).

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One of the main attractions in Bayonne is the Bayonne Cathedral (Cathédrale Sainte-Marie de Bayonne). Its twin gothic spires can be seen from most parts of the city, and the inside is amazing. The stain glass windows spill colour on to giant buttresses that hold the church up. Even the church grounds are surrounded by gothic archways, with the light painting pretty designs on the walls.

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After looking around Bayonne, we headed for costal Biarritz. It was a spectacular day with the cloudless blue sky framing the wonderful beaches. We were excited about two elements – the first being sandy beaches, the second a decent skate park. Suddenly it actually seemed worthwhile bringing the skateboard half way around the world 🙂

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We washed down a coffee with regrets of having to leave so soon, noting that this part of France is definitely on the return to list.

Our next destination is Bordeaux a short 2 1/2 hour drive away. It was a beautiful drive, through small French villages and as usual a short drive became longer as we stopped frequently to enjoy the sites. Eventually we were excited to drive past a sign that indicated we were in the Bordeaux region, below is our first glimpse of the famous grapes from this area.

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We have two nights to explore the region, and had organised to stay in an Airbnb property. Once we had settled in to our apartment we caught up on some washing, it had been nearly a week since leaving Rome and this was the first stay of more than one night. It was also the first opportunity we had to enjoy a home cooked meal and enjoy a couple of glasses of wine. Reviewing our shortlisted sightseeing list and familiarising ourselves with the public transport options, we had called it a night.

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