Monday, 9 November 2009

St Jean de Luz waves

The sun came back today in St Jean de Luz, albeit fleetingly, somebody forgot to tell the sea that the storm was over though. Looking back up into the mountains I caught a glimpse of the first snow of winter. I'd hate to have been caught up there over the last week.

As I walked along the clifftops I thought about the coming week. The 70th anniversary of the beginning of WWII. It reminded me that St Jean de Luz was heavily occupied during the war and paid its own price.

Nazis came and went, drinking in the same watering holes used the C17th pirates that went before them and the tourists that came after. Perched high along the clifftops are inumerable German pill boxes, each ominously facing out to sea. Some are tiny, others enormously labyrinthine. They have been blocked up now but it is good they remain to remind us of what could have been.

During WWII the famous Comet Line passed through the Basque country into St Jean de Luz. Grounded airmen shot down behind enemy lines were helped to travel secretly through France by the Resistance. Once in St Jean de Luz they made their way through the mountain passes into Spain before being ferried back home to Britain. Many are reported to have stayed in the rooms above Le Corsair, the supposed Nazi drinking club of choice. It is a good bar.

Basque of the day:- to have a narrow escape :: ozta ihes egitea lortu