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Alet-les-Bains Has WHAT? You'll Be Shocked.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

I've got to tell you this little village, Alet-les-Bains, cracks me up. It is small town in the deep southeast of France, and possibly the last place I'd expect to find a casino AND mineral baths. Regardless of size, it is a great stop along the way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Alet-les-Bains, is exactly what you picture an old French village to be like: quaint, colorful flowers everywhere, little shops, and several elderly french women carrying wicker baskets. It really is the cliché. The rustic, medieval architecture is so picturesque that all of you Instagrammers will have a field day.
The town itself runs along the river, just next to the enormous Pyrénées mountains. I came to find that most of the towns economy comes from their mineral water. Which by the way if you visit make sure you bring your bathing suit because they have over 2000 year old thermal baths and let me just say...they're heaven. (Info to make a reservation here)
To help you imagine this town, think about the fact that there is only around 430 inhabitants.  Yes, it's that small. The only really main thing to see is the ruins of the old Abbey. It has been around since the 8th century, kind of like Mathieu's grandmom (that woman is a rock).
In the 1500's the Abbey of Alet-les-Bains was nearly unrecognizable after the Huguenots destroyed it. No one cared enough about the poor little town to rebuild it so instead, hundreds of years later, they built a casino. I can't say it was a bad decision. 
My favorite part of Alet-les-Bains, more than anything was this dog. If you visit she will probably come give you a tour of the village just like us. Unfortunately she liked Mathieu more than me. I guess she has good taste.
[Photo Credit]: jeuxcasino.com
Your nighttime stop should end with the ever-so-random Alet-les-Bains Casino. It has a restaurant, grill, several slot games, piano bar, etc. I still think it doesn't fit into this town whatsoever, but it indeed made me laugh. This is quite the quirky village in the South of France.

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