Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bayonne from Paris (via Bordeaux)

Again, thanks for the wonderful, encouraging, supportive comments in response to my last two posts. I intend to answer each one individually, but Pater and I are savouring our last precious days in Paris now, and blogging has to take a back seat. To catch a few glimpses of what we're up to, do check out my Instagram account.

I did manage, before we left Bordeaux, to upload these photos from our trip to Bayonne, although I'm not able to manage much accompanying text. Above is a view of the River Adour from the deck of the ever so delightful péniche/barge B&B, the Djebelle, which we were treated to a quick tour of shortly after arriving at the train station.

After that visit, we walked with our friend across the bridge to the main downtown area of the very walkable and truly picturesque little city.
Note the typically Basque colours and architecture -- we were also struck by the notable cleanliness of Bayonne.


This Saturday market is a remarkably good one -- we couldn't help but wish we had a week in Bayonne with a decent kitchen, just to take advantage of some of the offerings to be bought alongside the river and across the bridge.

Even on a grey day (and oh, it was cold as well, just a degree or two above freezing when we first got outside, and it didn't warm up much more all day) this is an attractive place, no? I'm a sucker for a good reflection. . .
A bit later, we popped up to check out our friend's flat, on the 5th (i.e. 6th by North American count) floor, and from her balcony, we enjoyed this colourful view of the same market.

And then turned our heads in the other direction. . . can you tell I'm smitten?
But it gets better. Our friend lowered the ladder which is attached to her ceiling, and we carefully climbed up, popped the cover off, and crawled out onto the roof. Very cool, and check out this view!
Were it not for the clouds, we'd be staring straight at the Pyrenees, my friends!
I have more to tell you about Bayonne (a special afternoon tea to describe), and a few more photos to show, but if I don't get to sleep soon I won't be able to tromp all over Paris tomorrow, and who knows when I'll get back to these streets again. My ten weeks away are rapidly coming to an end, and I expect that the next time I post, I'll be back adjusting to my new home. Thanks so much for keeping me company throughout these travels -- about which you have not heard the end. But our focus is changing not only because of this weekend's flight home. Just as importantly, we're now in December, the countdown to Christmas. I'm curious to know what preparations you're making for the festive period or what seasonal activities you're already enjoying. . .

Should you need a little help getting into the holiday spirit, I'll be unrolling some festive windows on Instagram, one each day, Advent-calendar-style, until Christmas. I'm having such fun gathering these right now -- I've long wanted to see Paris in December, to view for myself the lights and decorations I've read and heard about, to walk down Boulevard Raspail with a paper cone full of roasted chestnuts, to watch little ones climb up on the viewing platforms in front of the magically animated scenes in the windows of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, to come out of the cold into an intimate upstairs room at Ladurée and talk Christmas plans with Pater over tea and macarons. . . We did all that today and more and believe me, I have photos of those windows that will awaken your inner Santa. Stay tuned. . .

Edited to add: Here's the link to the first of those Countdown to Christmas Instagram posts. Enjoy!


16 comments:

  1. Thank you Frances! My inner Santa is wide awake and looking forward to a daily peak into a very special Advent Calendar! loving Christmas Paris and France I'm especially excited about this!
    Enjoy your last few days in a magical frosty Paris ....
    Take care, safe journey home.
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your comment inspired me to add a link here for the first of my Advent Calendar Instagram posts. Hope you enjoy it, Rosie!

      Delete
    2. To clarify, the link is added in the post above...

      Delete
  2. Just want to add how much I've enjoyed all your pictures ..they're beautiful.
    I'm adding Bayonne to my ever growing "must visit" list!
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
  3. Me again! :) that's gorgeous! Having bought and made advent calendars for my children, their partners etc it's so lovely to have one of my own! Thank you!
    Rosie

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh! I have never seen Paris in December but it must be lovely. I arrived in January 2012 to study and the Luxembourg was full of primroses. The Basque areas are unique. I'm moving on to your Instagram. Have you read The Break by Vermette. I finished it this morning and I was moved by the cycle of life for these Métis women. Enjoy your last days.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't read The Break yet, but I do want to -- I was lucky enough to meet Vermette in my last year at VIU.

      Delete
  5. I've never been to Bayonne. So pretty!

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a fabulous holiday you are having!
    Thank you for sharing it with us as the scenery is so beautiful...

    ReplyDelete
  7. How lovely to see these pics of Bayonne! We were there this summer for the first time in years, visiting family who live just outside of the city. It is a fetching place. And your friend lives in a wonderful part of it. Mr G and I spent a happy day wandering and visiting the remarkable Basque Museum across the river. These past ten weeks will linger in the memory, Mater.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! That's a great museum -- we spent a couple of hours there (taking refuge from the chill and drizzle)...

      Delete
  8. Reading from the top through your recent posts. How lovely that you got to the Basque country. I only know Bayonne in summer, and it looks to have a beautiful winter face. Some places don't make the transition to winter well. On your next visit, do try to include Biarritz and St Jean de Luz as well.
    Conversely Paris for me is a winter city, and so your mention of roasted chestnuts brought back all the 'parfums' of the city that came as a revelation on my first visit. Chestnuts and crêpes... Now these scents are pretty ubiquitous, what with the global reach of German Christmas markets, but they still evoke Paris in winter to me.
    Thank you for your Advent calendar delights. I will need all the help I can get this Christmas. This will be the first Christmas for 20 years that we have spent in our own home, after spending them with my widowed father in the North all those years. I feel a foreigner in my own city - not a clue where to go to get a good turkey, what shops sell out of cream/bread sauce/Brussels sprouts early. What Christmas preparations are underway, you ask? Er, does thinking that I should buy some Christmas cards count? That's about the sum total! We have our 2 adult children living at home temporarily, and all 4 of us are wanting to declutter, simplify, pare down in our lives, so we are really just wanting to enjoy being all together for the first time in 3 years. Some berried holly might get stuck on top of picture frames, some ivy from the garden twined around tea lights on the Christmas table, but that will be it. But that won't stop me being entranced by your Parisian Christmas photos on Instagram.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We did drive through St. Jean de Luz when driving to San Sebastian a few years ago, and I'd love to get back for a day or two. Biarritz I think we've trained through, heading to Hendaye. Also would like to go back there, although I already suspect I'll always prefer Bayonne.
      Oh, I wish I had as easy weekend access as you do to a Paris winter visit...
      Sounds as if you're about as prepared for Christmas as I am, and it also sounds as if perhaps we're taking the same approach instead of panicking about our lack of readiness. Simplify and celebrate as it pleases you -- company will be the most important element. . . and food! Maybe throw in some good music. . . Stir and enjoy!

      Delete
  9. I have passed Bayonne several times on my way to Spain. Now I know I should have stopped!
    I love your Advent calendar and am looking forward to the next pictures. That's the second virtual calendar for me this year: The other one is a gift from an online shop where I bought some wool. It is a knitting pattern that is being published in instalments: every day you get 15 more rows, and by Cristmas Eve the scarf should be finished. I like the idea of not knowing what the whole thing is going to be like in the end...
    Have a safe trip home. I hope you will be coming back soon, with chances for another meetup somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are so many places that we pass on the way to somewhere else and wish we could stop -- in fact, that's probably a metaphor for life, isn't it?
      I love this idea of the Advent Calendar scarf -- what fun! And 15 rows is just the right amount....
      I, too, hope we'll have a chance to meet again -- I really enjoyed our visit, so much to talk about still...

      Delete
  10. Beautiful!
    I've never been there
    Have a nice trip home
    Dottoressa

    ReplyDelete

I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...