This is the birthplace of a great French king, was the seasonal favorite of royalty of all nations, was once named as “the center of the sporting world,” and was home to the first ever Grand Prix and the Wright Brothers’ flying school. The majestic mountains of the Pyrenees dominate the views and beautiful beaches are just a short drive away…
It all seems too much to believe but the Béarn in the south west of France has it all.
Shopping in the Béarn
Smaller towns have supermarkets and all the general everyday stores. For something special, head to Pau’s Château district or the chic roads such as Henry IV, Joffre, Latapie, and Barthou where you’ll find all the top names in fashion from Chanel to H&N, galleries, and knickknack stores. There are two indoor shopping centers in Pau, and, just to the south east, in Lons-Lescar, is one of Europe’s biggest retail zones. Pretty ugly but everything is there from Home Depot-style to sporting goods stores.
Remember, though, France comes to a halt at lunchtime; noon to 2 p.m. shops are shut, workmen down tools, offices close, but the big supermarkets stay open—a good time to grocery shop as it’s less crowded. Most shops do not open on Sundays, though a few supermarkets have special permits allowing them to open on Sunday morning.
Monthly budget for the Béarn Note: Figures are based on a three-bedroom house accommodating four people. Monthly cost will be considerably less (minus rent) if you own your own home.
Sample "Entertainment" costs
**Electricity: The main electricity company, EDF, offers a choice of level of power supply. You can upgrade or downgrade between 3KW to 36KW and various levels in between according to the size of your house, the type of heating you use, the number of electrical devices you use, your peak times of consumption etc; the higher your KW rating the higher the standing charge.
Shopping Basket Prices at Pau's E. Leclerc Supermarket (Prices in US$):
By Lucy Culpepper
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