Thursday, August 1, 2013

Circle Tour 13: on to Bayonne

Another cloudy day.
We bad farewell to our hotel hostess, Natasha.
Walked around the town of Mauleon again for a bit after the cyclists left.
I took some pictures I had missed the day before, like the Café where we ate lunch.

 Then we were on the road again...

....praying for each village and church.

We stopped in a couple towns. In the first one, St. Palais, we wandered the streets and tested our limited French in a couple shops. Bought some fruit in one and a snack in a wonderful bakery.

Interesting looking tomatoes. Une tartelette pommes
In another town, Hasperras, we had lunch.
Barb and I ordered the Enfants Menu. Does that look like a child's portion to you?
I learned the Basque word for bathroom/restroom/toilet (whatever you want to call it in English): komunak.
The poem on the painting was difficult for even Basque speakers to translate--poetic, old-literary language. Can you see the Basque flag and the wind?

In the restaurant we initially had a communication problem. We were struggling to speak French with the waitress, until we realized that, of course, she spoke Basque and Alazne could be our interpreter!

We discovered a very interesting church in that town and spent some time there. All inscriptions were in Basque, or perhaps Latin.

Mother of Sorrows statue on right
Wish I could understand all the words.

Warrior Archangel Michael, demon under foot (on right)
All around the walls were covered with intricate and colorful paintings of saints, angels, religious figures, probably a very interesting church history lesson.

We hoped the cyclists would discover this fascinating church as well, but found out later that they entered another one, different yet equally amazing, and spent a long time there singing and praising.

Eventually we arrived at our destination--Bayonne (Baiona) and the Best Western hotel downtown very close to all the important buildings such as the cathedral, Tourist Office, and their famous chocolate shops.

We walked around, explored the neighborhood, watching and waiting for the cyclists.
Suddenly they were there and we weren't. We ran to meet, greet and take pictures.

Arrival of the cyclists and their van with luggage.
Now picture the cyclists taking their bikes up to their rooms on the third floor.
"Hmmm...Should I take the elevator or the stairs?"

Can you see the bicycle standing on end?

After they showered (thankfully!) we all loaded up in the vans and set out for the famous Atlantic Coast.
Dane was eager for us to enjoy the beach and the fantastic views. However, he and Charlie look like all they wanted to do was rest and watch everyone else having fun.

When it was appropriately late we headed to one of the beach front cafés which happened to be Mexican.

Tate and Chelsea Gaines; Petite Quesadilla; heading back to the vans
One last night to enjoy the French-style double beds ;-).

Bonne nuit.
Bihar arte.("until tomorrow" in Basque)

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