Since moving to our new home in France last year in November, we’ve hardly had the chance to experience more than the daily life. As many people who move abroad with a project in mind would tell you, renovating a house is an all-consuming affair. And when you are also responsible for 10 chickens, 5 goats, a cat and a dog, you count yourself lucky if you manage to grab a coffee at the local bar once a week.
So when we heard about a famous event taking place less than an hour’s drive, we decided to treat ourselves.
Grand Prixs de Pau is an event with tradition, dating back to 1933. It follows closely after the Monaco Grand Prix and true aficionados travel to attend both events. Although, the event in Pau tends to be run at a much smaller scale, it has its own charm if you count in the loveliness of the city and the extraordinary view of the Pyrenees from the vantage point of the famous Boulevard des Pyrenees.
Alistair and I may not be racing aficionados, but we like anything vintage and the delightful city of Pau. When we found out that a second weekend is dedicated to the historical races (19-21 May), we went for it. We even booked one night in town and gave ourselves a (very short) well-deserved break. We stayed in Pau before at the Hotel du Gramont when we were searching for our future home, but the price was high during the Grand Prix and we opted for an apartment in the centre through Appart’ City Pau instead. Would highly recommend it and would definitely stay there instead of the Hotel Gramont next time we’re in town. Parking in the newly-renovated car park in the centre of town will cost you a mere 2 Euros for 24 hours, but if you want to be sure, you can also reserve a spot at the Appart’ City in exchange for 15 euros.
Day tickets for the Grand Prix de Pau Historique cost in the region of 23 euros per person and will grant you access to the pits where you can see these old beauties up close. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the event as much if I hadn’t been able to admire the cars at personal level, but, truth be told, if you don’t fancy paying but just want a day in Pau to enjoy the atmosphere, a nice bite to eat and a bottle of rose, you can still see the races from above, on the Boulevard des Pyrenees. For food we normally go to our favourite place, Vintage Café, but this time we tried the little Greek restaurant situated on the pedestrian street rue Marechal Joffre and did not regret it. Maybe it was just me feeling nostalgic for any non-French realted food, but I swear it was finger-licking good.
As the evening drew, we saw a city coming alive with food stalls, music and entertainment in the main square and realised this was a wonderful way to spend a weekend in May and admire the array of old beauties driven around town.
As if I needed any more reasons to sport victory rolls! 🙂