‘People don’t take trips, trips take people,’ as quoted by literary genius John Steinbeck. I can’t think of any better statement than this to represent one of my fondest travel memories. I was 21 and had just finished my year abroad where I had been teaching English at a school in Mallorca as part of my language degree. At the end of my year, I planned to meet up with two of my university friends who were also working abroad, my friend Karina who was working in a hostel in Biarritz in France and Laura who was helping out at a holiday camping resort in Moliets-et-Maa in south-west France. Little did I know this would be the making of an epic two week French road trip with my nearest and dearest!
Our route via the trusty surf wagon (Karina’s car) was as follows –>Biarrtiz –>San Sebastian–>Moliets-et-Maa–>La Rochelle–>Nantes–>Rennes–>St Malo–>London
Biarritz, a surfer’s paradise
I stayed at Auberge de Jeunesse Biarritz, the ultimate hostel ideally located and buzzing with friendly guests. Furthermore, two more of our other uni friends, Elle and Kirsty, had decided to join us on the first leg of our road trip! We spent our days surfing and ambling around the beautiful seaside town, and our nights exchanging travel stories over picnics on the beach. Perfect.
San Sebastian, Spain
Part of the draw of southern France is being able to hop over the border into Spain to enjoy some Spanish tapas and even more stunning views. Mission accomplished.
Here’s where Elle and Kirsty left us and we met up with Laura who was living in a quaint cabin in the wooded camping resort. It was the perfect setting to relax amongst the alpine trees, play some guitar and cook up some French cuisine. We also did some sun bathing on the Dunes, a stunning stretch of beach nearby.
Steeped in history and surrounded by boats and yachts. I loved exploring this beautiful coastal town where we climbed one of the port towers and enjoyed panoramic views.
We made it to Brittany, a province strikingly different to the last which only added to the charm of our road trip. We strolled around the city admiring the incredible architecture. A particular ‘must-see’ is Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne. Exploring the city at evening was just as fun, the city comes alive and you can find eateries pop up at every corner.
Rennes is the capital of Brittany and historically important. It’s a student city which is reflected in its vivaciousness. I didn’t put my camera down here, largely due to the medieval half-timbered houses in the Quaint Quarter and the incredible famous crepes I devoured!
Saint-Malo looks like something out of a fairy-tale; it’s a walled port city with a tide which will either leave it stranded in sand or surrounded by sea. Stepping into the city was like stepping in the past, a true French treasure which left us all awe-struck.
My friends and I couch surfed our way through the cities; it was my first time couch-surfing and it truly enriched my experience. In all my travels I’ve come to realise that it’s the people you are with and meet on your way that have the power to influence your trip. Combining stunning sights with incredible people made my French road trip one of my favourite travel memories to date.
I’m entering this post #MyTravelMemory into a competition by Celebrity Cruises to win a 7 day cruise. I’m nominating three more bloggers to take part; I’d love to hear the travel memories of Deys of Summer, Sally Around The World and Fottles Travels.