The final leg of our annual vacation in Europe took us to Biarritz and Bayonne in the South West of France. Although separated by only a few short miles, Bayonne provides a gateway to the quiet and sedate Basque country while Biarritz is typical of any major European beach resort, catering to the trendy, cosmopolitan crowds, with beaches filled during the day and bars during the night. Although different in many ways, each city is steeped in history and each shares a common theme in beauty.
We have travelled to this part of the world on many prior occasions and similar to other places we frequently visit, over time we have drawn up “lists” of favorite places to eat and things to see. Whenever my mind is transported back here it is these experiences that I usually think of. I can easily recollect the smells of certain foods and spices cooking in the kitchen of a country restaurant and salt in the air from the ocean mixed with the faint scent of flowers. Just as easily I can also recollect vistas and views that embody each city. However, for some unknown reason I have never photographed my experiences on any of our prior trips and therefore I made it a mission to capture memories this time around.
I wrote this post while sitting on a stone wall that surrounds a small, quaint fishing harbor in the old part of Biarritz. It was very early in the morning, well before sunrise. While some fishing boats were getting ready to depart for their day at sea, others were arriving and are offloading their catch of mackerel, destined for the local restaurants. The screech of seagulls echoed around the harbor walls and water crashed against the rocks just outside of the harbor mouth. I was waiting for the light that occurs just before the sun rises, when it pulls back the blanket of darkness and starts its journey across the sky.