The biggest sand dune in Europe!August 7, 2020 in France ⋅ ☀️ 33 °C
Today was my last full day in France but, as my plane wasn’t due to leave until 10pm, I decided to take another wee train trip, this time to the seaside resort of Arcachon. The journey took an hour and, as usual, I checked at the ticket office if there were any special reductions or offers for seniors, rather than book at one of the ticket machines. This paid off as I got a 50% summer fare discount. Result!
The main attraction at Arcachon is the Grande Dune du Pilat - the tallest sand dune apparently in Europe! It involved taking a bus from Arcachon station for 20 minutes (and one euro), but was well worth the trip. A pleasant shaded walk, lined with the usual refreshment stands, lead on to an increasingly sandy path. From there, a flight of steps took you up this amazingly high sand dune, and from the top there were fantastic views over the forest on one side, and the ocean on the other. Quite breathtaking! Although it was 38 degrees today, there was a very welcome breeze at the top, and it was nice to sit and enjoy the warm sand and the lovely views. The steps apparently are only for ascending the dune, and one had to walk, run or stagger down through the hot sand to descend.
Back in town, I discovered that Arcachon was a delightful resort town. Very clean, with plenty of pavement cafés and restaurants, and a pristine beach with lovely sand, and lifeguards keeping a watch on bathers. I couldn’t wait to get into the sea, and enjoyed cooling off for the best part of an hour, before heading in for a late lunch - mussels, beefsteak and Basque gateaux - delicious. The train heading back to Bordeaux was packed - just like the Ayr train heading back to Central on a scorching hot day. The SNCF transport police were inspecting all the tickets (I did actually remember to stamp it on the platform before boarding), and policed the train during the journey, telling off folk who were not wearing the obligatory masks.
Back to the hotel for a quick change and freshen up before catching the No. 1 bus to the airport. Not bad at 1.70 euros for a 50 minute ride. Next year hopefully the new tram line will be open.
Well thanks, Bordeaux, it’s been great. I will be back as it’s such a good base for exploring this part of La Belle France 🇫🇷.Read more