Tuesday, September 29, 2009


The Dune du Pyla is the largest sand dune in Europe. It's about 117m high at the peak and then drops off into the pine forest beyond. We HAD to see it. In fact, we had to see it so bad, that even after discovering that there were no buses going there (since it was Sunday), we still decided to walk.

The nearest major town is Arcachon. We took the train from Bordeaux and then started walking. Fortunately, a good portion of the way runs along the beach boardwalk, then through the city park where we were able to stop off for a panini and Orangina break. About 3 hours later, we finally ended up at the Dune. That's a long way to go on foot, but it was soooo worth it! We walked along the coast, turned the corner around the forest and the Dune seemed to rise out of nowhere. It's hard to really grasp the scale of it until you realize the little dots across the face are actually people!

We took a well deserved dip in the ocean and relaxed on the beach for awhile before attempting the climb. Even then, we only got about half way up before we felt a break was necessary. Perfect timing for a jumping photo shoot...

We finally made it pretty close to the top. We knew we still had to walk the whole way back to the train station and felt like the view was already pretty amazing from where were standing. The ocean on one side, the forest on the other, and the Pyrenees looming in the background on a clear day. Absolutely worth the tired feet.

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