Cork to Arcachon

Cork to Arcachon
Ravioli langoustine with Tomato Butter Sauce
Cork to Arcachon

Here we are in our townhouse in Arcachon, about 40 minutes from Bordeaux, after a long but very pleasant trip from Ringaskiddy, the highlight of which was perhaps another top class meal on board the Brittany Ferries ship, the Pont Aven.

We left Cork Harbour on Saturday. It was quite a lively stretch of water that afternoon. There were no liners at anchor but Cobh still looked resplendent in the sun. Tugboats, recently featured on the TV3 programme about the harbour, were busy berthing a tanker at Whitegate while the Pilot Launch moved right alongside to extract the local pilot from the Pont Aven after we had passed Roche’s Point.

We actually missed part of the journey down the harbour as we had to join the line to book our meal in Le Flora. Well worth it though, as you can see from the photos.

After a smooth crossing, including a drink with fellow blogger Karen Coakley (and her family), we arrived in Roscoff at 7.00am local time and got off about 40 minutes later. We had a meeting set with the keyholder in Arcachon for 5.30 and we arrived to meet Madame H. about seven minutes before that. Thank you Miss Sat-Nav, better known as Susie.

Harbour jinks
The house is quite large and very central, very close to the marina and the beaches. We took a walk that Sunday evening on the seafront and, while I have seen some huge marinas in France, I don't think I've ever seen so many pleasure craft in the one place.

On a very sunny Monday morning, we headed to the Centre Ville and wandered down to the pier from where the passengers boats depart for various trips on the Bassin, essentially a large inland sea that has a narrow “neck” to the Atlantic.

Fisherman's cottage in Andernos
I always advise people to do two things on arrival in a French town. Find the Tourist Office and find a good traiteur. We did both that first morning. Got lots of maps and brochures in the Tourist Office and bought lunch and dinner from the traiteur.

Arcachon marina
The traiteur is an institution in France. They have top quality ready made meals and snacks for sale. Sometimes you may eat straight away, sometimes you may have to reheat in the oven or microwave. For lunch we enjoyed a gorgeous Ham and Olive Cake and the main course at dinner was a beautiful Mousaka, that washed down with a bottle of red Graves.

On Brittany Ferries: Chicken w. aspargus,
Spicy Lamb and red wine.
Cheeseboard, Strawberry with pistachio cream, Grand Marnier Souffle

The dinner came at the end of a trip to the other side of the Bassin, to a town called Andernos Les Bains.  The Bassin is of course tidal and here at Andernos the effect is dramatic as some three quarters of the water flows away leaving many boats high and dry for hours. No wonder, it has a very long jetty - I read somewhere that it is the longest in France. Still, the resort is very very popular with families. And, as we left, there was a procession of fishing boats, coming up the channel as the tide started to return. There is a large fishing industry here, including all kinds of shellfish, so you can take it we’ll be eating some.