Hossegor is about 7 hours from Paris. We do this ride every summer, swarming in a southerly direction at almost the exact same moment as 1/3 of the Netherlands, Belgium and Northern France. Every family has their secrets for beating the traffic. Some leave a day early, some fly, others take the train. Mr French likes to leave at an un-godly hour, so we get up at 4am and head through the city to the Périph, direction Orléans. Then we start to debate if it is better to take the A6a or A6b. I always opt for the a and it is always the better option, but we have the discussion anyway. This is particularly lively when we are driving separate cars and our kids have to answer our cellphones, acting as go betweens. Its a real highlight for them, and I’m thrilled that we’re creating memories that will last a lifetime.
This is meant to be a vacation, so we try to keep it pleasant, by stopping somewhere for the night along the way. One year we stayed at Dax where there are thermal springs serving the 90+ crowd, creating even more memories that our kids will cherish almost as much as fielding our phone calls.
Last year we headed out on the 14th of July and Bastille Day in Bordeaux, watching the fireworks from the rooftop of our very charming hotel, for memories that will help our kids forgive us for the phones calls and evenings in sleepy towns for the infirm.
Along the road we spot hot air balloons above what were once royal hunting grounds in the Loire. Then sunflower fields start speeding past. Finally, we reach the Condom vineyards of Armagnac (the really is the name of the town… Condom. A great source of childish delight for some). Before we know it (or not soon enough, depending on the mood in the car and the traffic along the way) we are crossing the Gironde river and on the Bordeaux ring road.
Just south of Bordeaux we spot the maritime pines trees of the Landes region, and we have arrived, let the memories roll!!!