Trains planes and automobiles indeed! Dan and I had a good flight from Toronto to Heathrow…sitting at the very back of the plane…turned out to be a r layovers quiet spot although sleep still ill used me for most of the flight. We arrived in London to a glorious spring day…everything just bursting with life… When we went to check into the bus for Standsted, it proved to be departing too late so we opted for door to door service with a hired car… The fact that it cost us almost as much as our flights to France has bitten into one of my fluffy towel nights on the Camino, but it was worth it!
Hellen was at Stansted to meet us with g a big smile and lots of hugs. She graciously took our bags and then we were off to our plane. On board we met up with a Norwegian woman who was setting out on the Camino for her second trip in 5 years. Gertrude grotte joined us for our madcap ride to Bayonne, where we hopped on a bus (with 8 minutes to spare) to go to St Jean Pied de Port. This picture is one taken through the window of the aircraft as we were landing in Biarritz. Our first look at the Pyrenees!
Gjertrud had not booked a hotel, so we invited her to join us at ours…we had prebooked a mini suite which has a pull out couch in the living/eating area as well as another twin bedroom. It worked out perfectly!
Today ,the three of us explored the ancient town of St Jean Pied de Port, and got our credentials signed at the pilgrim office.
We then explored the ramparts of the old citadel as well as toured the old city. The beauty’s incredible, and the people are delightful! We also discovered an incredible bar that that served dan a Basque beer…so good we have bought 3 more for our pm snacks!… I also tried a small scoop of their coffee ice cream…heavenly!
The mountain we will climb is seen in the pic…just look for the tallest spot…we’ll begin crossing that tomorrow.
After our pm snack, we will head back into town for the pilgrim mass, then dinner and then off to bed. Day 1 has been glorious. We are booked in at Orisson for tomorrow night…half way up the mountain on the Route Napoleon…breaking this climb in half has been highly recommended…I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow…