Basque Country with Family
On arrival at Col Ibardin, Juno made BFFs with our two young Spanish neighbours, we didn’t see her for almost two days as she followed them around chasing sticks. Ana and her daughters were lovely friends to have made. We made new friends too in Caroline, Ian and their cocker Bodge, spending the night comparing travel notes and putting the world to rights. Bodge can high ten, so our mission is to teach Juno to.
We hired a car for the week, which made a lovely change from packing up Knigel every time we wanted to go out.
Our first day trip was to Bayonne, a lovely albeit large town just north of Biarritz.
The architecture was beautiful and we had a nice walk around before heading to Biarritz.
Biarritz is a lovely old school glamour town, a little expensive but the whole of the Basque country seems to be. It had a really nice feel to it. Not too dog friendly though, Juno couldn’t go on the beach so had to be dragged about on the lead.
Next we headed up the mountain to Col Ibardin, there was an aire at the top, but I wouldn’t have fancied driving Knigel up there. We had it on good authority (Caroline and Ian) that there was cheap booze to be had so went mainly to buy gin!
On our second day trip we headed in land to follow the valley of the River Nive route, which we believed would be very scenic. I got us lost (again!), blamed google maps but pretty sure it was actually my fault! Eventually we arrived at Cambo-les-Bain a well to do spa town.
Our lunch stop was at Hôtel Ondoria, Itxassou where we had a terrific lunch, perhaps my best meal so far together with some Basque sidre. We then got to play in the river, which was obviously Juno’s highlight.
The next day we headed to St Jean de Luz, a very pretty and upmarket town (read expensive!!).
We had a trot around the town then headed along the seafront to Ciboure for lunch hoping that it would be cheaper and that we could find some part of the sea that Juno was allowed in.
We had a lovely lunch, albeit not that cheap! I decided to throw caution to the wind and take Juno on the beach, so a good move all around.
The next day we headed to the Spanish Basque Country, over by Hondarribia and then onto San Sebastian.
San Sebastian is just lovely, a beautiful city on the sea and one that I’d like to return to, hopefully when it isn’t pouring down with rain.
We walked around to the port, where Greg proceeded to get locked into the boat enclosure much to the Dovey’s amusement.
Lunch was taken in San Sebastian near the port, again it seems that the Basque Country on both sides isn’t cheap. We then found a part of the sea that Juno wasn’t banned from and she spent ages swimming.
The next day we headed to Getaria, which is just past San Sebastian. I wanted to go there as it is where Christóbal Balenciaga was born and there is a museum there dedicated to him. Anyone that knows me knows that I am a vintage clothing nut, I love the beauty, quality of fabrics, workmanship and the story that an old garment holds. Greg and Dad were less than excited about the visit but humoured me.
Interestingly, during our Basque visits we saw more evidence on the French side of a yearning for independence, for example the French place names scrubbed out on road signs. I thought it would have been more on the Spanish side.
Our friend Kate then joined us and we had some lovely days catching up and chilling out by the pool.
Our next plan was to head across the northern Spanish coast but the weather forecast says rain, rain, rain for a week so looks like we will be heading further south.