Saturday, 6 December 2008

fortified paella

We continued our tour of St Jean de Luz this morning showing mother and father a sample of the market, fishing port, beach and shopping. Fortuitously the shops had set up their windows for Christmas so everything looked lovely and we all experienced our first rush of Festive cheer.

Undecided on where to settle for lunch we opted to jump in the car and head across to Spain in search of paella. We drove to a wee town we know called Hondarribia, about half an hour from here. It is a wonderful medeival town whose walls are still pock-marked from bygone battles and defences against the French. I imagine most of these border towns really saw some military action over the years. We found our desired dish and tucked in for an hour or two.

Crammed full of prawns, mussels, chicken, Rioja and rice we decided to go for a walk in the fresh air so jumped in the car and drove to Socoa back on the French side. It is on the opposite side of the bay from St Jean de Luz and has a lovely fort that is attached to one of the digues (sea defences). By now the wind had whipped up again as the tides raced back in. We each took turn and immense pleasure from pushing mother out onto the ramparts so that she could enjoy the exhiliration of being overwhelmed by spray from the crashing breakers. She was very resistant and close to tears but we knew she was secretly probably, or at least possibly, having fun. She is a sport and we love her dearly.