Today was 30 degrees, so 3 Germans, 2 Swedes, an Austrian, a Russian, and a Canadian drove along the French shoreline and explored the beaches of the coastal towns. The first place we went was the Dune De Pyla, which had mountains of sand as far as our eyes could see. On one side was a forest, and the other was the sea. We were disappointed when some locals told us that the dune was too steep to go down to the water, so drove on the countryside to some of the other beaches in Arcachon, which had the cutest old buildings and way overpriced food (haha).
We dove into the Atlantic Ocean, tip-toeing at first because of the cold, but then after – headfirst, with eyes closed, because it’s painless that way. When we sunbathed, the water kept crawling closer and closer to us, until it tickled our toes.
“Look,” Osker said, “The ocean is inviting us to come back for a swim.”
We talked about the way water is where we’re from, and I thought about how home often feels like sand in between our toes and salt in our hair.
“I’m used to the cold ocean, because the water is always freezing in Swedan.”
“In Munich, there is no ocean, but there is a huge river where people can surf.”
At the beginning, we were strangers, but at the end of the day, we parted ways like the French do: cheek-to-cheek on summer skin and kisses that smell like saltwater and ice cream.