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.
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.
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.