Sunday, 12 April 2009


In St Jean de Luz they don't have an Easter Bunny. Rather than a clearly drug induced deliverer of chocolate eggs they have a far more sensible option, a magic bell that delivers 'les oeufs de Pâques'. What is wrong with people. From what I recall it was a stone that rolled down a hill, not a bell or an egg, and certainly not a chocolate egg. Ok, sourgrapes because I agreed to be healthy this year and not over-indulgent...gutted.

Eglise St Jean Baptiste is a large and architecturally astounding building. Shaped like a huge upturned, wooden container ship, there are three tiers or galleries of wooden seating in a u-shape all facing the impressive altar. Normally the main concourse and first tier are fairly full with around 600 people. Today there was a queue outside each entrance to the church. Within, over 2,500 people. Standing room only, and that was a crush. It felt a little more like a spectacle than a religious ceremony given the hoards, but it was quite an exhilarating experience.

We arrived 20 minutes before kick-off but still had to climb to the gods in the third tier to find a seat, apt really. From there we had a marvellous view of proceedings. This included being able to pinpoint people we knew and 'fainters' both of which there were several. After the service we headed to Place Louis XIV for hot chocolate and live music. This week a troupe of guitarists and mandolin players that we had seen in January at Auditorium Ravel played for the crowds with heady tunes of a Sicilian nature. Traipsing back down rue Gambetta we locked ourselves away from the tourists (why are there so many foreigners in our town?!) and prepared our Easter feast. Joyeuses Pâques!

Basque of the day:- happy Easter :: ondo izan Bazko garaian