Climbing the Dune
While school has already started, my travels have not ended. Just recently my friends and I visited an amazing place here in France called Dune du Pilat (mind you we are still very confused by the spelling because everyone spells it differently!) This amazing place left us all in awe and just gave each of us a small break from the already hectic student life.
Our trip down to the dunes were fairly easy. We hoped on a train in the early morning and took it in the general direction of Bordeaux. The train tickets were fairly inexpensive because we previously purchased a Youth Card which allows you to obtain tickets at a discounted price. The whole train ride including transfers was about 6 and a half hours (mind you I slept the whole way there). We arrived in the town of Arcachon, which is a small town near the dunes. My friends were able to book a comfortable hotel room meant for 6 people at a reasonable price. I believe the dates of our travels were also off season which helped a lot. The first afternoon, we spent it exploring the small town and walking along the beach. We were able to see many sail boats along the beach, as well as, many small tour boats. Our afternoon was spent taking silly pictures along the beach, speaking to a French couple about our notions and misconceptions of the French, and going grocery shopping for dinner.
The next morning, we woke up ready to head to the dunes. As we got in the bus which only cost 1 euro, we were informed that it was transportation day in the region and we would be able to travel the whole day with the same pass! (Can you say win?) The bus ride was only 20 minutes and in the blink of an eye we were there! And we were just in shock. We had some idea as to what it would look like, but walking there and actually being on top of the dune was completely surreal. I felt amazed and I even called it a little miracle place because as I stood on top of the dune, I looked to one side and saw a forest and then looked to the other and saw the vast ocean. Being there made me think of all the beautiful and unique places on earth and how important nature is for our sanity. I felt happy, full of hope, and just joyous of being in a natural place like this with people I care about, enjoying a sunny day full of silliness. I think each of us got something different from our visit to the dune, and we all felt the beauty of nature that day. After a few hours in the sun we headed back to Arcachon. We had an early night and morning, where we again jumped from train to train in order to make it home.
This small trip was the first of a few trips that I have planned during my stay here in France. I am truly grateful to my friends for planning this one out and putting up with me during the planning phase when I was feeling less committed to the trip. The destination was totally worth it!