Good afternoon all,
It’s Saturday afternoon and our adventure is just about to begin over the Pyrenees and they are daunting to look at. Hope there is shorter pass as they all TALL.
Some catching up to do. We left Iceland about 1 am for Paris. So sad we did not get to see the Blue Lagoon, glaciers and geysers or experience the food.
It does appear that all we’ve heard about the French not liking Americans is true. Or if it is just a few of them, they all work at the airport. I stupidly missed purchasing the airfare from Paris to Biarritz for under $50. I thought it would be easy to purchase tickets on the train and go. For two hours I went from person to person, back and forth trying to get tickets. At first they said it would be $288 euros. Well over $300. That wasn’t going to work with my Pilgrim budget. I finally ended up back at the first person I talked to and got overnight tickets on the train to Bayonne. Very happy. Only $180 euros ( but three times what it would have been if booked earlier). Now to get to the train. They re working on he line that goes from the airport to the train station. A combo of trains and buses got us to an area where we did see Notre Dame, the river Seine and a sidewalk cafe where we had a cooling drink. The overnight train was great. We had our first sleep in a couple days. We arrived in Bayonne about eight in the morning. Had some coffee and a croissant with a couple from Israel and England in a sidewalk cafe outside the train station. Then off to find a hotel. First one said no room at the inn – festival in town. Same thing at number two and three. We got back on the train and came to Saint Jean. SOOOOO glad we did.Having a WONDERFUL time. The people are friendly, the food is great, the coffee wonderful and the chocolate is superb.Since pilgrims can only stay one night in an auberge (French), we stayed in one last night that was very nice for 14 euros per person. First shower in four days. Felt so good. We had to be out by seven am. We don’t do anything by seven am. Yet this morning we were up, dressed, had breakfast and were out by seven am. The coffee this morning was served in a cereal bowl. No need for seconds. I spent this morning sitting in a park near the Citadel with my still wet laundry slung over the fence to dry while Dale took some of belongings to the post office to mail home. We were way over weight. Giving some shampoo, mouth wash, etc to the donation box. A blog I read said a guy was removing the cardboard from the roll of toilet paper and cut the handle off his toothbrush. I’m considering cutting the tags off clothes. Maybe I could save another 1/4 oz. I’m carrying four rocks to Cruz de Fero. I have one small one of my own, one each from my two daughters and one from a grandson. Carrying the rocks to Cruz de Fero is important but I think the grandsons may stay here to signify the start of our camino.
Tonight we are in another aubergue in SJPDP and they just keep getting better. This one however has bunk beds. Dale has the top.
Walking around today I saw a plate I think my sister would like however, since I’m a pilgrim and can’t carry it, I took a picture. After all it’s the thought that counts.There is a festival here in town with lots of bands marching up and down the steep streets playing music. It just keeps getting louder and better. My adopted son from Romania would love it.
An observation or two: There are very few fat people in France and the teens here do not constantly walk around with cell phones texting – they enjoy TALKING to people.
We are going up to the Citadel with a bottle of wine, a baguette and some ham and enjoy the view of the mountains we’ll be crossing in two days.