On Holiday in Hendaye

Hola, or maybe I should say bonjour this weekThis weekend I took a fairly spontaneous trip with some of my auxiliar-friends to Hendaye, which is a little seaside town just on the French side of the French-Spanish border, fairly near to Biarritz. We all live such hard lives here, working a whole four days each week, that we figured we deserved a beach break! It´s also one of the girls´birthday today, so that gave us the excuse we needed!

We booked less than a week in advance, so we were really lucky to find a beautiful beach house for less than 40 euros each for the weekend. We couldn´t believe it when we stepped out onto the balcony to these views:

The plan was to spend the weekend relaxing on the beach, which of course we did!

Hendaye is a really interesting town so we spent some of our time getting cultured too! On Saturday we walked to Chateau d´Abbadie, a castle just outside the town. Since people in the south of France also take a siesta, we had to have a picnic and a sunbathe while we waited for it to open after the lunch break. I make that sound like a bad thing; it certainly wasn´t dissappointing to relax in the sun with these views!


When I was on my gap yah I ate hoummous in the gardens of my chateau…

Antoine d’Abbadie was a scientist who made the first maps of Ethiopia. He built the house with wholes in to try to discover and measure a constant of refraction in optics. The experiment wasn’t successful, so he was left with a holey house as a reminder of his failure! I’m not sure if I find this really funny or really sad!

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You know you’ve made it when you have so much money, the best way you can think of spending it is putting your initials all over the walls in gold leaf…

Basque people are famous for being cold (even more so than the Brits!) but our landlords bucked this trend completely. They gave us coffee and got to know us, and one morning they brought us a traditional Basque tart, which is pastry filled with some sort of fruity-flavoured creamy curd. It was nicer than I’m making it sound! They also introduced us to their son, and gave us a lift to the next town one night so we could go out with him and his friends! If only all landlords were like them!

Irun, Hendaye’s neighbouring and almost adjacent town, is on the Spanish side of the border. It’s really strange that in Hendaye, people speak French (well, not me, I quickly realised this weekend that my French GCSE no longer stands for anything!) but just two miles away, in Irun, absolutely everything is in Spanish. It’s funny that the language is determined by the political borders!

We happened to be in Irun during the town’s festival, and on Saturday evening there was live music. We watched a Basque republican band called Esrepublica performing rap-metal. One song was called “Death to the King.” It was interesting…
All I knew was that we were going out so I turned up to the concert in a floral dress and heels. I got some funny looks but, as the faux-pas I’ve made go, it’s certainly not the worst one!

My real faux-pas of the week happened on Thursday, which was the hottest day here so far! I’ve entered into a war of words with a crazy neighbour. It was too hot to wear many clothes at all so I just wore a sports-bra to run in, which isn’t not very revealing at all and is more like a crop-top, but apparently this was a big no-no! People were giving me dirty looks when I ran past them in the park (but ignoring the girls sunbathing in bikinis!?) and when I got back to my building, the old lady in the lift with me looked down her nose at me for the whole ride. She called me a puta (slag/tart), so I called her a bitch in my most pleasant voice. I understood her, she didn’t understand me; think I’m winning!




2 thoughts on “On Holiday in Hendaye

  1. Hendaye was highlighted on BBC yesterday as a town that is collapsing through unemployment. Businesses failing, so many people out of work living on welfare.

    It is nice to see that you bring a little economy back into a struggling area.

    It really is a beautiful spot. They should probably push tourism more.

    • That’s so sad to hear, what a shame! I have to say that it didn’t seem like a struggling area – there weren’t a noticeable amount of shops closed etc. I was surprised that there weren’t many tourists there in late May, although one of the reasons we liked it was that it was quiet!

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