Pays Basque/San Sebastian

One last week with the Obela family brought on our regular weekly dates with the pool, a reggae/new music concert on the weekend and much more discovering and exploring. I also spent a night close to Perigueux, with a friend I met here, Lou, at her mom’s place which is about 45 minutes away. Since they didn’t have a chance to celebrate Easter together we had an Easter egg hunt with Lou’s three-year-old daughter. Two Easter egg hunts in one week, what luck!

I love the saxophone.

Enjoying the music

The main singer of the Reggae Band...this guy was all soul. Here he's singing his own version of Bob Marley's "One Love".

Lou and family

With the kids on school break and visiting their grandparents, Cécile (the mama), Haïlie and I took the opportunity to visit Pays Basque, further south of France. We used our favourite resource, CouchSurfing, and found a 27-year-old guy, Anda, with almost fifty references and positive comments. Perfect! It worked out well as he loves to cook and was more than happy to show us around and give us suggestions about how to perfectly spend our three days.
Cooking away!

Anda cooked us a delicious vegetable soup, mushroom soup, salad and couscous dish. We spent the evening in Biarritz, famous for its surfing and “Pelote Basque”, a sport similar to squash.
Anda's delicious creation

Pays Basque is eccentric, and different from any other part of France I have already seen. The language,“Basque”, and waterfront view gives it unique character and style. It’s also only a couple of hours away from San Sabastian, a city in Spain, where we spent a day under the warm rain. Since San Sebastion is so close to France we came across many french speakers, as well as Spanish and Basque. The Spanish menus, signs and accents gave for an interesting and challenging change, as well as the houses and architecture. The jewelery and post cards were also super cheap…. bonus!
Now THAT'S my kind of wine....

We caught a break from the rain long enough to take a stroll

Beautiful architecture of Bayonne, another close by town.

San Sebastian, under the warm rain

I just can't help myself!!

First experience communicating in Basque; very interesting!

Garden greens, goat cheese, walnuts and a restaurant sauce. Delish!

Very dedicated surfers

Loving the candy shop and balloons

On our day of return we got an early start to pick up the kids. We chose the long route so we could see more country-side, making stops in a few small villages along the way, including Mont de Marson, Marmande, Bergerac and Perigueux. Miles of country side has yet again took my breath away, with the bright green hills, old french architecture and gorgeous cathedrals, discolored from time yet standing just as beautiful and strong.
So concentrated

Cécile and I enjoyed some strong coffee and seeing different views, shops and chocolateries. Haïlie also had a wonderful time, practicing her new-found love for vocabulary and naming every “vache”, “poule”, “chien” and “chocolat” in sight. My name has also improved from “A-na-ni-na” to “Sa-na-ni-na.”

After a wonderful and well-needed sleep I headed to Bordeaux to meet someone who would drive me to Angers, where I’d meet up with the four girls again for the weekend. I said adieu to the beautiful Obela family, which was very hard, but who I know I will see again in the future. Though I’ve said it over and over again, the time goes by so fast! In words of Bienvenu, “Ca veux dire que la vie est belle.” “That means that life is beautiful.” How right he is.


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