Descent…to sea level

St jean pied bridge dawnish fish

Descending from the heights, like many people through history, our first stop was Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Its medieval section is basically one main street, with perpendicular side streets (it’s not a hilltop town), adjacent to a river with a gorgeous little bridge. We saw school-bound kids crossing, stopping, as children will, to look in the water.

St jean pied vendor fruit signs

We were there early, and saw many shopkeepers opening for the day. You can tell that, although many shops catered to the tourists, people also live here—not many tourists buy apples by the kilo….

Bidoche chateau ruin front

We detoured to Bidache to check out this ruined chateau. Without an appointment, we could only walk up to the front, but that by itself was pretty darned spectacular. We both found the tops of the stone window frames standing tall without their intended wall/roof partner-elements visually compelling.

Biscarosse plage surfer prepping marine layer

How can this be last? Still, it was chronologically.

When we stood on the beach in the late afternoon, watching the surfing crowd trickle in (we theorized: after their day jobs), we knew we’d made tracks this day—from dawn in the Spanish Pyrenees to marine layer, late-day light on the Atlantic. What a great world.


  1. Maureen Meyers says:

    all visually appealing in many different ways. Cool (or kewl, as Greg Keyes would say) pictures and day.

  2. Leslie says:

    Ah the surfers… the winds are generally calmer nearer to dawn and dusk which makes for better wave formation and so real surfers will generally head out at those times.

    Stuff I’ve learned living in SoCal and befriending surfers.