Sunday, July 10, 2011

Three days of R&R in Jurancon

We arrived in Jurancon on Wednesday night and Helene had a wonderful dinner of Poulet Basquaise (chicken prepared with a Basque recipe). It had tomatoes, onions, herbs and was served over rice. However, the meal started with a delightful aperitif of local Jurancon wine and this was an indicator of the fine wines we would enjoy over the next 3 days. On Thursday we headed into Basque country. The Basque country straddles the border between France and Spain into the Pyrenees from the Atlantic coast. It has many small villages and each village has a unique heritage. The first village we visited is on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela and is St. Jean pied du Port.

The Basque houses are usually painted red and white. We had an excellent lunch of trout (caught that morning) and then headed out to the next village.

Espelette could be called Pepper town, its specialty is the Basque piment (pepper) and they are hanging from many buildings in the town.

The third village we visited, Ainhoa, had a wonderful traditional Basque church. In the traditional Basque church the men sit in pews in balconies above the main aisle to look down on all the women and you can see the balconies in this picture.

On Friday after going to the local market day in Jurancon, we were off to the Pyrenees to the Col du Souler (part of the Tour de France on July 15) and the Col d'Aubisque.

Saturday was the day to clean up the bikes, work on the route to Bordeaux, and go into Pau. We worked hard all day and then headed into Pau. Pau was a fashionable place for health in the late 1800's and many wealthy British people came to live in Pau. It has a lot of parks and promenades in addition to a 17th century castle.

Bernard and Helene took very good care of us with gourmet meals and first class local wines.

We got everything we needed; rest, relaxation, and great company. Thank you, Bernard and Helene.


Mr. B said...

Wow, what a trip guys! To almost steal a line from Screamin' Jay Hawkins: "Yow, I'm envious! HUH!"

Dave and Belinda said...

Hey Beel, thanks, yeah we're having a pretty good time. The trip is moving almost to fast. We'll be on the Atlantic coast this afternoon and headed towards Bordeaux.

Leslie said...

Is that David's new big bike?

Dave and Belinda said...

Yes Leslie, that's my new big boy's bike, ha ha ha.

Love to all