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Monday, October 29, 2007

Pau Court Uncovered

The Pau court is open for real tennis on Sundays and reverts to its role as a Trinquet Court during weekdays.

The court is an intriguing mix of the ancient and the new as the original penthouses at the servers end and recievers end have been removed, together with the mid court tambour and net to make way for the Basque game of trinquet. Even more curious is the tambour has moved back becoming a 45 degree "chamfer" in the far backhand receivers corner.

This creates a faster game than normal with the added fun of a main wall drive that hits the tambour and bounces parallel to the back wall ( like a good boomerang serve ). Oh .. and the grille is a small opening ~ 18" square so it takes some hitting.

The Association du Jeu de Paume de Navarre club is being run by Alexandre Boy and he is very passionate about his tennis and wants to restore the court to its original glory. Website

The court nestles in a small park behind the magnificent Hotel Parc Baumont which is worth the trip in its own right. The reasaurant is named the Jue de Paume and the hotel manager is also a strong supporter of real tennis offering good rates at a 4 start hotel.
Also on your agenda should be a visit to the Complex de Pelote where there are magnificent facilities to celebrate all the Basque ball games ( 21 of them ! ). Most of which are played on courts derived from the old real tennis court. They are played with a variety of implements and styles. Suffice to say they have to be seen.

The old town offers fantastic views of the Pyrenees and local culture , but do try and avoid visiting after England beat the French in the semi final of the rugby world cup !

Ryan Air offer great deals on flights from Stansted and you will be made most welcome. So go on ... soak up some Real Tennis -- "Basque style "