Beyond the Pyrenees: French Basque Country

Another late post but I’m sure catching up. 😉

The holiday of 8 December we headed to the French border which is an hour’s drive away from Pamplona.

France and Spain are separated by a natural border of mountains called the Pyrenees. This particular day, which is a holiday in Spain (Immaculate Conception) we went on a day trip to see some French towns just beyond Spain’s border.

It was Mandy, my German colleague from the MBA, who asked me to join them that day. She had a friend visiting her in Pamplona, Ronja, and they had planned to visit the French Basque Country because of its close proximity. We were also joined by Katie, Mandy’s flatmate from Australia.

The first town we stopped by is Saint-Jean-de-Luz a picturesque coastal town.

White houses with red timber frames and roof, of traditional Basque architecture, line up the shoreline.

We strolled along the sand making our footprints known. I find it funny that we were walking on the sand with winter boots on. 😉

The girls wanted to break for some coffee before heading to Biarritz, our next stop.

The budget-conscious students that we are, we were avoiding anything expensive. Le Majestic pictured in the first photo above is exactly that kind we should avoid. We actually went inside to have coffee but quickly changed our minds upon seeing the menu.

We were so glad we ditched that not so majestic coffeehouse and in a side street came across L’Acanthe.

We were the only customers when we entered. Examining the menu, the prices were reasonable so we decided to stay.

I ordered the Basque quiche which has tomatoes with red and green peppers.

I’ve never had that many quiche in my life, some might have just been totally forgettable, but this was totally the best I’ve ever had!

Thank goodness I took a photo of the girls entering this place else I’ve no way of remembering the name (sorry I’m no good at French).

What I liked most about L’Acanthe is it’s homely ambiance. Nothing haughty about it, even the menu is simple. That type where it’s printed with a thicker paper, laminated and book-bound. The fonts even don’t pull off a polished look, using too many font types (imho), no uniformity in total. But hey you know what they say, don’t judge a book by its cover. 😉

With our tummies happily filled and at a place with value for money, we drove off to Biarritz.

Biarritz is another seaside town popular with tourists and surfers.

Tourism here is well-developed, Biarritz has its own airport to boot. It’s an expensive place to stay for a night though. Lucky us it was close enough to Spain for a quick visit. 😉

Last stop was Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a starting point for Camino de Santiago pilgrims taking on the French border of the Pyrenees.

It was once a part of the Spanish region of Navarra and Basque is still spoken this side of the border.

Too bad it was nearing dark we couldn’t see much of the city in daylight.

I love this photo of the bridge in the Nive river.

So yeah I’ve been to France and didn’t even have to show my passport. I brought it I think, just in case there was customs. 🙂

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2 responses to “Beyond the Pyrenees: French Basque Country

  1. Pingback: #AtoZChallenge: April 18, 2013 ~ Pyrénées | Of Glass & Paper

  2. Pingback: Dancing to Basque Music in Pamplona Spain | jmeyersforeman photography

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