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.
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….
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.
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.