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On to France

semi-overcast 19 °C

Yesterday we woke up fairly early and decided it was time to catch up on some fitness, so we ran up and down the waterfront in San Sebastien. That done, we went for lunch. The schedule of life here is a little unusual compared to what we are used to and it is taking a bit to get used to. We first saw it in Pamplona when the restaurant we wanted didn't open until 9pm. We arrived in San Sebastien on a Sunday and just about everything was closed. On regular days the shops and restaurants advertise that they open between nine and ten, yet sometimes they don't seem to get around to opening. We arrived at the restaurant for lunch yesterday at 12:30 to find that lunch didn't start until one. So we had a coffee and enjoyed the waterfront view. Lunch was simple, but delicious and it was a bit grey so according to local habit, we went for a siesta. Natalie did some research and discovered a restaurant in the next town over that was run by a Spanish celebrity chef and we decided it was a good time to go for a drive. Sean, our Irish GPS tour guide, took us on a bit of a wild goose chase, but we managed to find the right place. Aside from deep frying cannelloni our dinner was delicious, we were happy to check out a new town and find a menu that was something other than tapas. This morning Nat had to say goodbye to her friend Piturri (the cat).

Today we drove into the heart of the Pyrenees mountains, luckily we had the ipad map as our GPS didn't have any maps for France....we will be having a word with the car rental company about that one! We left San Sebastien and drove along the French coast until we got to the town of Biarritz. We thought about having lunch here, but it seemed a little uneventful and our hotel was a few hundred kilometres away and pretty specific that check-in was between 5 and 7pm. The roads were easy to navigate and we ended up in the town of Lourdes for some lunch. Arriving at 3:30pm in rural France means that all of the restaurants are closed for lunch, so we grabbed some sandwiches from a little bakery and sat at a little roadside pub that we bought a beer from. A thirty minute drive from Lourdes and we arrived in Cauterets, a little town that must be all hiking/biking in the summer and all skiing in the winter. We are in the shoulder season so if we are lucky, half of the things are open for business, this could be why our hotel was so specific about the check-in time. We managed to get a room on the top floor with an epic view of both sides of the valley, I hope we can ride the gondola tomorrow that runs past our window. We explored town a little bit, a lot of it seems closed, but we did find a great grocery store as well as a restaurant that served the most amazing soups. Mine was a duck leg stew, that came with a soup on the side and Nat had a fish soup that would serve two. The perfect end to a chilly evening. Tomorrow we hike, we'll get some more great photos.

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Posted by colincampbell 13:21 Archived in France

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This sounds wonderful.... when I was in france I did the south of france.. You would love all of the small towns with the cafes.. Nice was lovely and so was Cannes... Hope you can get there...

by deb boyle

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