Bayonne, Saint Jean Pied de Port, Pau

During the middle portion of our trip to France, Diane and I travelled by train to southwest France. Our first stop was in Bayonne. We walked the old part of town, where one section of the outer walls was built by the Romans, visited the gothic cathedral and the Basque museum, before having dinner along the riverfront.

An interior view of the  Cathedral de Sainte-Marie in Bayonne.
An interior view of the Cathedral de Sainte-Marie in Bayonne.
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There are many choices for riverfront dining along the Nive River in Bayonne.

The next day another train took us up into the Pyrenees Mountains to the town of Saint Jean Pied de Port. This is where many people start the El Camino de Santiago, also called the way of Saint James. It is an ancient pilgrimage route that crosses 500 miles of northern Spain. Diane wanted to check it out, as she wants to hike it next year. There are many things to see in town, including the Bishop’s Prison Museum, a Roman bridge, and the citadel on the hill, to name a few. We even found a potter’s studio to visit. Lunch by the river, followed by a shuttle van ride to our next stop.

A pilgrim preparing to start the El Camino takes a photograph from the Citadel overlooking Saint Jean Pied de Port.  The scallop shell on his pack is the traditional sign of a pilgrim.
A pilgrim preparing to start the El Camino takes a photograph from the Citadel overlooking Saint Jean Pied de Port. The scallop shell on his pack is the traditional sign of a pilgrim.
A potter's studio in Saint Jean Pied de Port.
A potter’s studio in Saint Jean Pied de Port.

We spent the next two nights in Pau. The walled old city overlooks the nearby Pyrenees. The chateau where Henry IV was born is the prime place to visit, parts of which go back to Roman times. Plenty of places to shop and dine.

Tapestries and carved wood decorate a royal bedroom in the Château de Pau.
Tapestries and carved wood decorate a royal bedroom in the Château de Pau.
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Published by preuphoto

I am a fine art landscape and nature photographer living and working on Cape Cod. The area, and my familiarity with it, leads to compositions of light, weather, and frequently water in its many forms. I share my gallery with my wife Diane Heart, whose porcelain and raku pottery blends beautifully with my work

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