Tuesday, April 6, 2010
oysters... oh what a treat!
Day two of my French adventure... we depart Bordeaux and hit the road for the coast (South-West): destination, Les Dunes de Pyla, in the Arcachon Bay. The dunes boasted views of the inlet bay, the ocean, a pine forest... and sand for miles. In a word (well two), absolutely spectacular. Since you know me quite well at this point though, you know that I had an important stop to make prior to hiking the dunes... lunch was calling.
Arcachon is known for its fresh oysters - so when in Rome... order oysters right? A plate full of oysters, followed by des moules et frites, and a cold beer set us up very nicely for the hike up the sandy dunes (made easier when we kicked off our shoes, rolled up our jeans and just charged up!).
Unlike Canadian oysters that have such an intense taste of the ocean (Atlantic or Pacific), these oysters were far more subtle - all they needed was a squeeze of lemon to encourage their natural flavours. The mussels were steamed in beer and scallions... with enough juice at the bottom of the pot to soak the french fries in. A perfect lunch for sitting on the coast, watching the ocean and enjoying the sunshine that was breaking through the clouds.
Les Dunes de Pyla are not to be missed if you're in the area - I would actually encourage a trip just to see them... they are as breathtakingly beautiful as the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland; they leave you breathless (and not just from the climb up) and in awe. Plus, when you are ready to race down the hill you can sit in a little café and enjoy a warm crepe... you can't get more French than that!
A perfect second day of vacation me thinks...