Weekly summary - St J de Luz

Trip Start Feb 15, 2012
Trip End Sep 17, 2012

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Flag of France  , Aquitaine,
Saturday, March 24, 2012

I've added a few new people to our weekly email, I do an update most days but an email to all about once a week. If you dont want to get a weekly email, send me an email to buckgw@gmail.com

Feels like a real holiday...we have been here for a week, unpacked, worked out all the bits and pieces of the apartment, been for a few drives, been for a lot of walks, had a few v good reds....and slept v v well

Last Saturday we left Madrid and gave the new Peugeot it's first real outing. Loved it, especially now we've sorted the cruise control, GPS, sun roof..... I did discover that it is only a 1.6 litre and not the 2 litre we ordered. I guess since it has taken us a week to discover that, it is not a problem. Plenty of grunt and v good economy.

Read http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/buckgw/5/1332016455/tpod.html for more in the trip

I had forgotten the frequency of tollways here. Between Madrid and France I think we spent around €20, now it's back to €2-3 per day...except one day when we missed the roundabout turn and ended up in Spain and had to pay it all over again.

I have found a way to buy a bipper but it costs an extra 7% - not sure it is worth it because you also have to get it posted to you in France...not easy, could do it to Bordeaux?? I think keep a stack of coins plus a few €10 notes is the answer

Our apartment is right in the middle of St Jean de Luz, in the top of a 2 story block. Very well located, only noise is the occasional train across the road. Parking at our doorstep and worth the €4 per day as it seems to mean we always get a spot. We have everything you could want in the apartment..it's quite small but lots of mirrors and cleer storage solves most things.

We've had day trips to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Hendaye and Biarritz. All nice but different, we also managed a train ride. Have a read of http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/buckgw/5/1332357610/tpod.html to know when NOT to get a train to the top of the Pyrenees :-)

Some of the other fun we've had includes
- sorting out mobile phones and iPad connections with mixed success. See http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/buckgw/5/1332179200/tpod.html
- haircut for me
- having some eyelashes removed from my eye....that involved finding an ophthalmologist and jumping the queue
- Sandy conquering (I hope) driving on the "wrong" side of the road
- eating tapas in Spain...and drinking sangria
- buying lunch at the local markets
- visiting the Guggenheim in Bilbao...wow
- trying different reds each night
- trying to work out a good price for a baguette (€0.90 seems the figure), pain au chocolat (5 for a €1 in one place, €0.80 each in another), coffee....varies between €0.90 and €3.20

I should have also mentioned earlier that this is the Basque Area that you often hear about. The Basques are in both Spain and France, they have lobbied for many years to have their own 'country'. At some stages it was very violent with the Madrid bombings some years back being part of their protests (I think). Signs here are in Basque and French.....odd as Basque names always seem to have a Z in them.

Some of the scary(?) bits were around the Toulouse shooting. That's only a few hundred kilometres from here and the country went onto scarlet alert for first time ever. The extra military and police presence was very obvious, even across the border in Spain. They caught and shot the guy but things still feel a little on edge. It is also only 5 weeks to the presidential election and so there has been plenty of posturing by various candidates on "what went wrong"

The weather has started to turn. Early in the week we got caught at minus 2 (in the high country) but the last 2 days have seen low 20s and people in swimming. You can feel Spring in the air. 

See http://blog.travelpod.com/travel-blog-entries/buckgw/5/1332527927/tpod.html 

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louis brouard on

Excellent trip.like the photos and diary

Bernard on

Gary - it looks like a long way from Newman !!! Best wishes, B

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