Saturday, July 24, 2010

Southern France, Pays Basque, Northern Spain

Dh and I had such a wonderful time with our family. It was so great to have our son and his family visit. It was also great to spend time with Dh's close family who live there.
As much as I love Paris, I love Southern France and the Basque Country even more. It is soooooo beautiful there. It is so green and clean. The houses are all charming and most of them are very clean. I love how the houses in the Basque country all have names and that is how people know where they are and who lives there. I love the white houses with red tile roofs and colorful shutters. I love the sheep, cows and horses in the countryside. I love the smells and the picturesque views. I love the beaches and the mountains. I love the music and the friendly people. I must say, it is a bit of paradise on earth.

Biarritz has one of the most beautiful beaches. I never tire of looking at it. Of course, when you go to Biarritz, you must visit the lighthouse. It is a very important landmark. Then you must also visit the Rocher de la Vierge ( The rock of the Virgin).

The sundial by the lighthouse is very accurate. It showed the time exactly not counting daylight savings time. One stands on the month and the shadow falls on the hour.

We visited a lovely plaza in Saint Jean de Luz.

I love all the flowers that decorate the balconies and street posts all over the country.

Someone in our group wanted a hamburger, so we found this place to eat. The food was really pretty good.

Look at all the hams hanging up.

We drove to San Sebastien and then up to Mounte Igueldo where you have a fantastic view of the ocean.

This is the city hall or Mayrie.

We heard cheering and a distinct sound of a ball. Upon investigation we found a fun game of Pelote (handball). Dh and all of the Frenchies knew right away what it was. Ha!

Esplanade, the piperade ( red pepper) capitol of the Pays Basque. So many of the houses were decorated with hanging peppers.

Right in the middle of the village was a barn with several really nice horses and colts.

Saint Jean Pied de Port was another picturesque village where we took a little train up the mountain to an old fortification.

Some people walked up the huge mountain while others rode on the little train. The ride was 45 minutes long there and back. K did not like it there because there were quite a few flies and other flying insects. Good thing they weren't moths or I would have been the one freaking out.

It was soooooo hot there. Beber spent time in his wifebeater shirt standing by the window trying to cool off. He never went out in that shirt, but the moment he got home, off went his regular shirt.

A picture of all the guys: Beber, Dh, our son, Laurent (Dh's brother) and Patrick (Dh's nephew and son of Beber (Albert)

The girls: Marilynn (Patrick's wife), Patricia (Laurent's daughter), Nicole (Laurent's wife). me, K (our granddaughter), K's Mom (our daughter-in-law), and Mado (Madeleine Dh's sister).

Of course A had to have a picture with the girls too.
My feet were soo swollen with all the walking and all the heat that the minute we walked into the house I put on my slippers.

Tireless Mado always working. This little gal never stops moving. She is the hardest worker that I've ever seen. Can you believe that she's going to be 80 in one week? Mado climbs mountains, speed walks and she is also a fabulous cook. We should all be like her.

I think ladies stay young in the Pays Basque. Patricia is 50. She sure looks younger to me.

We had an impromptu birthday celebration for Mado. We used dessert that was already there (Gateau Basque) and I found some candles. A and I set things up and we all sang.

Beber was so touched that we sang to his sweet wife. He actually shed a few tears. This couple is soooooo nice and considerate of one another. They are always sweet and tender with one another. I think they are a great example to everyone.

Father and son had fun being together.

I must add that this Mom sure enjoyed seeing her oldest son too. :)


The Texas Bakers said...

Wonderful. Amazing. I LOVE all the pictures, especially the houses. Makes me wish I was there!

Yvonne said...

I have never been to southern France, but it sure looks beautiful. All the pictures are wonderful--and, as always, I love reading your descriptions.

So glad you had such a wonderful visit with your family--your son is very handsome.

Sorry, it has taken me so long to get here to read, I have been sick.