St. Jean de Luz

St. Jean de Luz

St. Jean de Luz, France – July 13, 2011

From San Sebastian, Spain, we made our way into France. We arrived at St. Jean de Luz, France this morning at about 10:00. It took us about an hour because we took the back roads. The weather was cloudy as we loaded the 4Runner at the hotel this morning in San Sebastian. Shortly after we started driving it began to rain. At times it rained quite hard. The French countryside was just breathtakingly beautiful. It was very green, no doubt aided by the rain.

When we checked-in to our hotel, I asked if we were too late for breakfast. The woman at the front desk said no. So, as soon as we put our suitcases in our rooms, we went back downstairs to have breakfast. It consisted of fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee, fresh croissants, fresh bread, cheese, hard-boiled eggs, and something like a fruit cocktail. It was quite good and refreshing. I am certain the fact we were in France made the simple breakfast even more delicious!

The hotel we are staying in is Le Grand Hôtel de la Poste. It is a three-star hotel. It has a sort of bed and breakfast feel. I am guessing it dates from the 1800s, so it has plenty of “character!” However, after our walk around town, seeing some of the very old homes, for all I know, our hotel may date from the late 1600s.

After finishing breakfast, we decided to walk to Grand Beach. We went out of our hotel and turned right so we could walk to the port and beach area along Rue Leon Gambetta. All totaled, we probably walked about 1,500 to 2,000 meters (about 0.9 to 1.2 miles). At about the halfway point we stopped to have a snack and a drink. When we finished, we walked back to the hotel and all took a nap.

The morning “rush” at Rue Leon Gambetta in St. Jean de Luz, France.
A small plaza near Rue Leon Gambetta.
People walking past a small grocery.
A woman wearing purple passing by the Lavender Chocolate Shop, St. Jean de Luz, France.
The Women Dept. on Rue Leon Gambetta.
A unique water fountain in a store on Rue Leon Gambetta.
A pedestrian on Rue Leon Gambetta checks out a sign as she passes.

We walked past a specialty meat store.  The large sign above the door trumpeted poultry, Bayonne ham, and foie gras.  If those did not excite one’s palate, there was also goat cheese direct from the mountains, Espelette peppers, a Basque beret, very good ham, duck breast, fine wines, fresh-cut farm-raised poultry, extraordinary old-style sausages, and Chinchon dough sausages, just to name a few!  The aroma emanating from the store was mesmerizing.

A specialty meat store.
Pedestrians in the rain on Rue Leon Gambetta.
Some typical shops on Rue Leon Gambetta.
A family stopping near Place Louis XIV to get their bearings.
A panoramic view of the St. Jean de Luz marina.
Detail of one of the boats in the marina.
In the distance, one can see the stairs going up the seawall.
A home that dates from 1690.
Homes at the seawall on the Promenade Jacques Thibaud.
A boat entering the inlet to the marina.
Another view of some of the homes on the Promenade Jacques Thibaud.
A building with a unique style on the Promenade Jacques Thibaud.
The view along Rue Tourasse.
A family walks past Maison Adam, founded in 1660, a store specializing in Basque bread and groceries.
One of the Maison Adam display windows.
Another view of one of the store entries.

After our nap, we walked back to the marina area and took a boat ride on the Nivelle V. It left from the marina and went out a short way beyond the breakwater barriers. It was a little windy so the ocean was choppy. When we got beyond the breakwater, we found we were in two to three-foot seas. Every now and then we would encounter a four-foot wave. It was quite a ride. Once we turned around and began heading back to shore it was considerably smoother since we were going with the waves.  Regardless of the conditions, we all enjoyed the excursion; well, Leslie was not keen about the choppiness, but all in all, had fun.

A unique store display!
Peppers for sale.
A pedestrian on Rue Leon Gambetta.
Departing the marina, bound for the Atlantic.
A panoramic view of part of the shore of St. Jean de Luz.
Fort de Socoa is in the center.
One can only marvel at the force of the uplift that resulted in these cliffs.
Twisted layers of earth.
The intrepid sailors.
A sailboat moored in the bay.
The Grand Beach.
Returning to the marina.
The boats in the marina.
Yet another view.
The Airosa.
Our trusty boat, the Nivelle V.
Stopping to get rid of the sea legs!
A sign on a home touting its origin in 1650!
The north entrance to Le Grand Hôtel de la Poste, our accommodation.

That night we went to dinner at Le Grand Grill Basque, located at 32 Boulevard Thiers. At 122€ (US$149), it was the least expensive meal we have had on this trip so far!

A cocktail before dinner at Le Grand Grill Basque.
Our dinner companions.
Detail of a colorful painting in the window of a shop on Boulevard Thiers.

One thought on “St. Jean de Luz

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.