Blogs from Saint-Jean, Midi-Pyrénées, France, Europe


Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean September 19th 2018

MELTDOWN. No, not Chenobyl , or a nuclear plant in Japan. This one was all mine. As those of us have the dubious pleasure to know, anxiety attacks come at the most unexpected times. My latest one popped up at 12.58 last night. These are quite irrational fears or reactions to things that usually never happen, but it’s very real at the time. I put mine down to jet lag, airline food, making sure I don’t miss my train , even though I have 2 alarms set at 5 minutes apart, or the vegan meal I ate for dinner last night. The room I had was also very warm with no way of cooling it down. Another thing I hadn’t noticed until I went to close the curtain at bedtime, was that there wasn’t one. Normally ... read more
The Ticket To The Unknown
A Little More France In The Form Of A Crop
A Trainload Of Pilgrims. It was a quiet trip.

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean May 16th 2017

EL CAMINO de SANTIAGO Planning My living room was a morass of camping and hiking gear almost from the moment that my daughter, Lauren, agreed to go with me on this adventure; walking the French Way - 500 miles from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago, Spain. I thought, with this early start, things would automatically divide themselves into equipment and clothing to carry in my back pack and that which we would leave behind. Preparation for hiking the Camino was also an opportunity to eliminate unnecessary items from our hiking closet. I anticipated wrapping up this part of the preparation in a week or less and then I could enjoy with anticipation, the comfortable, light weight pack beaming at me as it stood against the wall waiting for the big day, the departure ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean May 5th 2017

THE DREAM Walking the Camino I am so far behind on my blogging. I do apologize. Every day I think I will write another blog about my 2016/2017 trip to the Caribbean, South America, and Indonesia. Then the sun goes down on my plan without a single word being written. Now I am so excited about my new trip that I want to jump start writing about it. So I expect I will be entering missing blogs from my last trip while writing about the trip I am planning now. Still in the planning stages, so anything can change - the goal: Hiking the El Camino de Santiago…starting May 20, 2017. I have been wanting to do this for about three years. Finally, my middle daughter, Lauren has agreed/almost agreed to go with me. She and ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean October 7th 2014

Our little wolf pack left Pamplona Sunday afternoon where it grew by one: Eileen, a longtime friend of Angie's joined us from Barcelona for the first week of our trek. We made it to St. Jean Pied Port (the "Feet of St. James": official starting point of our pilgrimage) mid afternoon on Sunday. Eager to get on the trail, we stopped into a hostel to get Eileen's passport and hit the trail. The outcome was unexpected: This hostel owner quickly sized up that we were fresh on the pilgrimage and convinced us "you're crazy to start the trail tonight!" He suggested we stay and start the next day. After a quick decision (we clearly haven't learned our lesson!) we handed over $17 Euros each which included a "pilgrims breakfast". After a sleepless night in a dank, ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean June 4th 2014

We arrived at our gite in St Jean Pied de Port at 8:30 pm, the 4th of June - a full 24 & 1/2 hours after leaving Ottawa - 32 hours taking into account the time change - both fully exhausted. It turns out Tanya has one of my three curses - curse 1) sleeping in anything that moves is impossible... Plane from Ottawa to Frankfurt - plane from Frankfurt to Madrid - train from Madrid to Pamplona - automobile (taxi) from Pamplona to St Jean Pied de Port - the only missing mode of travel - a slow boat to somewhere - I know what you're thinking Danielle... We almost cried (ok I teared up) when we finally got to our room at a gite Azkorria - first of all two single beds - second ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean September 13th 2012

We arrived in Paris Sept 3,a little tired.Boarded a train for Bordeaux from the airport (thank-you to Patrick.)On the 4th we arrived in St Jean,received our passport,and booked into a hotel.Bit of a late start,but we were only going 8 kms,how bad could it be? BAD!BAD!and more BAD!In 8 kms we climbed a 1000 metres,only to find they made a mistake and only had 1 bed left,but...they did have a tent.Ï am sure we would have slept on the ground which I guess we did.There were a lot of Canadians in the group.It was very damp in the mountains so everything got wet. Sept6 The next 20 kms over the Pyrenees took us 7 hours.So as it turns out,sleeping on the ground is a picnic. The scenry was unbelievable,we walked 4 kms straight down through the ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean April 18th 2012

We arrived at our first destination at about 7pm dropped of at the bus station and had our first experience at following the yellow arrows and shell signs. The signs that we follow for the rest of our walk. Made it to the Albergues (pilgrim hostels) some are private and some are municipal which cost about 5 - 7 euro about $10 per night. For that you get to sleep with heaps of other people and share the bathroom and toilet with everyone. Our first one was private called Le Espirite de chemis ( spirit of the way)and run by a Lady called Umberta. Such a warm and lovely woman. We were all made to sit in a circle and tell everyone where we came from and why we were walking.( Me because Jacqui asked me) ... read more
Our shell to follow the yellow arrow
getting our compostella (Pilgrim passport)
Our first street ....the start of a 800km walk

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean April 17th 2012

Leaving home tomorrow - all packed and ready.... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean September 7th 2010

Had a wonderful afternoon wandering around Bayonne. Everywhere I looked was beautiful stunning architecture. And the fact that it's all so old and yet still so elegant adds a certain magic to the place. I started out just wandering the streets and came across the Cathedral of our Lady of St. Mary. Walked around the outside to the cloisters and then rather accidentally came across the entrance to the Cathedral. I feel so lucky that I did - it showed the value of taking things slowly and looking out for those opportunities that do resent themselves when you're taking notice.  I think it might be the most beautiful Cathedral I have ever seen! Amazing stained glass windows and lots of gorgeous shrines around the outer area. I came across the shrine to Mary and just felt ... read more

Europe » France » Midi-Pyrénées » Saint-Jean August 24th 2009

To climb a mountain you must take one step at a time..... and that,s what i will be doing (if i can get past this french keyboard!!!) I am here at the start of my adventure in St Jean de Pied de Port at the foothills of the Pyrenees. Its a beautiful little village crowded at the moment with many tourists as well as pilgrims. I have already met 2 ladies from UK and another from South Africa with whom I shared the train trip from Biarritz to here. I have my pilgrim pass, my scallop, maps and am ready to go; Bien Camino! Storms are predicted for our climb tomorrrow but the following day is said to be a perfect day for seeing forever from the top of the mountains. Bonsoir from SJPdP.... read more

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