Friday, July 5, 2019

From Paris to Pau . . .

I love traveling - the months of planning, the actual vacation and then reliving each adventure through photos.

Once we settled on Paris as our destination, I contacted a high school friend who has lived in the south of France since 1970. 

Our core group of high school friends gets together once a year (this is from a 2014 gathering at our house), but I am the last of the friends to visit Linda (in the black shirt) in France.

We arrived in Paris on Thursday and Saturday morning we flew to Pau - we could see the Pyrenees off in the distance from Linda and Gerard's deck.

From this zoomed in shot, you can see a dusting of snow on the mountain tops.

The grounds of their chateau are lovely, 

but Gerard asked that I not put any photos of their gorgeous home on social media.

Linda and Gerard live in the little village of Serres Castet and after lunch Linda drove us into Pau to walk around while Gerard set up for a guitar performance and casual dinner party that evening.

Chateau de Pau sits in the middle of the town - it was the birthplace of Henry IV of France and Napoleon once used it as a holiday home.

I didn't write down the names of any of the buildings so I have no idea the history behind them.

Saturday night's party was so much fun (no pics allowed) - 5 different friends played the guitar, we ate amazing food and looked out at the gorgeous scenery until late in the evening because the sun sets about 10 p.m. at this time of year.

Sunday morning we rose early and drove to Saint Jean de Luz on the Atlantic coast.

It is the the French Basque region 

and we were intrigued by the Basque alphabet and font on the signs.

While Steve was enjoying his beer, I was admiring the Basque linens, but sadly we didn't have time to shop.

When we saw people crowding around the square in town, we realized it was Pentecost Sunday and many people were dressed in beautiful Basque costumes for a variety of events.

These young ladies were my favorites

We went on a little walk around the charming town.

 I spotted lovely gardens here and there

and I enjoyed the distinctive Basque architecture.

We continued our drive south along the Atlantic coast to Hendaya for a quick visit to Gerard's cousin.

Living right on the border between France and Spain,

she speaks both languages and I was able to chat with her in Spanish.

This was one of the first houses I saw in the Basque region of Spain.

We merely drove around the towns of Irun

and Hondarribia, Spain

because everyone was out celebrating Pentecost Sunday and we could not find a single parking place.

Our time was limited

and too quickly our brief visit with Linda and Gerard was at an end,

but the streets of Paris awaited us.


  1. What grand memories, Carol for both you and me. As I stroll through your photos, I can remember the feeling of surrealism; I never thought I'd be in Europe, in France and Italy. It felt as if I was in a picture book, the picture books of my childhood excursions through the pages of my dreams. To speak to the people of another land, to observe their customs, the crafts and architecture, their daily lives, that is a history lesson. What glorious memories!!!!!!

  2. It is always so much fun to read other's writings who have traveled on 'this side of the pond' and been caught up in the history and settings and people and ambiance and the whole experience of being in Europe. It is a magical experience, isn't it?

  3. That must have been a very cool experience to travel to a friend's home and see the sites with locals. I'm sure it was a very different vibe than the rest of your lovely trip. And of course, it's always wonderful to catch up with old friends!

  4. Wonderful pix, Carol! Did you guys feel any of the quakes y'day? Hope all is well ~

  5. Great photos, Carol. I love all the history and the wonderful architecture that reflects the stories of people of long ago. We're going to Europe in a couple of weeks and I can hardly wait!

  6. Sounds like a wonderful and fun time. What a special thing to have these lasting friendships. It's great that you got see local tradition.

    I have to imagine the estate was amazing and enjoying eating and music was wonderful with the sunset.

  7. Enjoyed this post very much. I enjoyed going along with you on your vacation. Your photos are great. Have a blessed day. Madeline

  8. What beautiful photos. I enjoyed the tour. I've never been to Paris so I'm grateful to see it in your photos.

  9. Such beautiful pics of your trip. What fun to see your high school friend and her lovely home. To get to experience every day life and the culture had to be a great experience. So happy you had such a wonderful trip.

  10. I k ow you enjoyed getting together with your high school friend and what a wonderful trip to Paris . Amazing pictures . How blessed you must be . Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  11. Wow! What splendid architecture! I don't like to travel. Instead I enjoy it through friends like you when you travel and show the photos.

  12. I think this is one of my all-time favorite blog posts! LOVE it. I am so thrilled that you were able to visit a school friend. How very special that you were able to do that. You crammed a lot in for the short amount of time you were there. xo Diana

  13. Loved the pictures of your wonderful trip. Beautiful.

  14. Oh my gosh, Carol...I can't imagine taking all this in and being there in person. The photos are amazing. It sounds like you had a blast. I'm sure you're still daydreaming about your trip!