Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dune du Pilat

On the first day of my France road trip a month ago, we drove from Madrid straight across the France/Spain border.


The drive through Spain was fairly uneventful, the most exciting sight being a wildfire on the side of the road a few hours into the trip:



Soon after entering France, we arrived at our first sight-seeing stop: Dune du Pilat.

Dune du pilat
Source: wikipedia.com
Dune du Pilat is the tallest sand dune in Europe, with heights of up to 107 meters.  It is located 60km from Bordeaux, and receives over a million tourists every year.

I had no idea what it was - or that we'd be visiting - until we got there, which was a pleasant surprise.

We took off our shoes and climbed up one side of the dune to the top.


I was a giddy child, anxious to reach the top for the view.


One side faced the forest,


And the other side faced the shore.


According to Dune du Pilat's website, wind and tides constantly push the dune back towards the forest.  In fact, the dune moves several meters every year, slowly covering up the pine forest.


That evening, many people sat at the top of the dune to watch the sun set.  Once the sun had dropped below the waterline, everyone applauded.


Despite all of the people, there wasn't a single piece of litter to be found in the soft, fine sand.

Dune du Pilat is such a unique natural site; I recommend it to anyone who has the chance to go.  More information about the dune can be found here and here.
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