Last batch of vacation photos – Part 3

The beach is just a distant memory now that I’m back in Paris where it poured with rain all day last Sunday and temperatures plunged to 15°C.  So before we say goodbye to the summer season and turn the page to greet the fall (which is also a nice season), below are a few last shots of lovely Arcachon.

And stay tuned for my next post, folks.  This weekend I’m off to Lille to attend the mother of all flea markets.  And to see my godchildren who have returned from their summer vacation abroad.

Once a year the northern city of Lille holds its annual flea market, and it’s a whopper. The largest flea market in Europe, it’s called La Grande Braderie and it attracts a million visitors from all over France, Belgium, Germany and the U.K.  This year the dates for La Grande Braderie are August 31st and September 1st.

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Cap Ferret on the Atlantic Coast – Part 2

Across the bay is a tony little island called Cap Ferret (populated largely by privileged Parisians and Bordelais.)  Every half hour small boats from the Arcachon pier take you across.  It’s an enjoyable 25-minute ride:

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Approaching Cap Ferret you see these wooden sticks protruding from the water. They belong to oyster parks which are dispersed around the bay. Oyster farming in this region began in 1852. Today there are 380 oyster farmers that produce 10,000 tonnes of fresh oysters a year. The preferred method for eating them is with fresh rye bread, salted butter and the obligatory glass of Entre-deux-Mers white wine (a Bordeaux, of course!)

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This is the good life. Fresh as fresh seafood, chilled white wine, and friends and family around the lunch table, mere inches from the water.

As you walk the main shopping street, you feel like you could be on a Caribbean isle. Or maybe a French version of Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket?

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I couldn’t resist taking this photo.  The French do love their pharmacies.

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Here I found the best and freshest fish and seafood.  Quel délice !

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Gorgeous lobster, line-caught sea bass, oysters and crab and shrimp, oh my!

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I’ll post the last batch of photos in a day or two.  Hope you enjoyed these.

à très bientôt !

Arcachon and Cap Ferret

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Arcachon is a medium-sized beach town situated south of Bordeaux and north of Biarritz on France’s alluring Atlantic Coast.  Across the bay of Arcachon is a peninsula called Cap Ferret, not to be confused with Cap Ferrat on the Mediterranean. Covered with pine trees and sand dunes, it is reachable by boat. 

Arcachon August 2013 019You’ll find more Bordelais here than Parisians because a sizeable chunk of the Bordeaux bourgeoisie have summer homes in Arcachon and Cap Ferret.Arcachon August 2013 136The weather was perfect: hot and sunny every day, but always a cool wind blowing in off the ocean.Arcachon August 2013 109

The moment I stepped off the train (3 and a half hours direct from Paris on the high-speed train, TGV) I could smell the briny sea air.  What a refreshing change from the polluted smog I’m forced to breathe in Paris!  The Hotel de la Plage was perfect. Located between the train station and the beach, the rooms were air-conditioned, sound-proofed and very comfortable.  I paid 123 euros a night which are high season rates.

click on links below to continue and to see Cap Ferret