Travelling in France – Salies de Bearn

With lots of time on our hands before our next firm commitment with friends in Biscarosse, we decided to slow right down. Our reasoning was that arriving on the coast at any point of the weekend would mean us hitting either Aires full of partying French or those heading home after soaking up all the available sun. If we delayed our arrival until Monday then the Aires would be virtually empty and the shopkeepers and bartenders eager for our euros before everything closed down for the winter in the first week of September. All the children would be safely back at school, howling for each other in the playgrounds of home and the coast would be a peaceful adults-only haven for us weary travellers.

With this in mind we searched our database and came up with another Aire at Salies de Bearn. Now ‘salies’ indicates the presence of salt marshes and a quick exploration of the town showed it to be centred around the production of salt and of thermal springs, baths and what it terms ‘Réeducation Fonctionelle’. By this I think it hovers between a health spa and a substance misuse rehab facility.

The site is a ‘commercial’ Aire but costing less than many ordinary aires and with electricity included in the price. Circular in layout with each pitch marked out by wooden fences the site is extremely well maintained and peaceful with the exception of our rather noisy neighbours with their large to enormous vans. I do believe that some of their ‘garages’ could actually house a car.

I think the natives of this small and very old town must have been teetotal because there are very few bars. On Saturday afternoon only one was open and this was full. We saw maybe a couple of other bars but these were either shut or appearing so.

All the Aires, Atlantic 104. N43.28.393. W000.56.033

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