St. Jean de Luz

Friends at the beach at Biarritz

Friends at the beach, Biarritz

Hotel du Palais in Biarritz

Hotel du Palais in Biarritz

Our eight travel buddies became adventurous and took a public bus to the upscale beach resort of Biarritz, on the Cote Basque. I did not know what to expect, but all of us were very impressed with this Basque city that first came into prominence in the mid-19th century when Napoleon III built a summer palace on the shore for his wife, Empress Eugenie. The palace is now the esteemed Hotel du Palais.

The stunning promenade is lined with tamarisks and hydrangeas and some of us walked out to the island of the Rock of the Virgin over a bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower) where a statue of the Madonna keeps the local fishermen safe.

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