Tuesday, 11 May 2010

overlooking St Jean de Luz

The sun shone brightly on St Jean de Luz yesterday. Towering in the background the Pyrenees are omnipresent. Standing proudly at the head of the mountain chain stands La Rhune at 905m high (nearly the same height as Snowdon). Having been here for almost 18 months I figured it was about time I went to the top of the mountain. I've walked its foothills many times but have never taken the time to climb to the top even though it's only a 3 hour hike. However, there is an alternative. A cog-link train drags itself to the summit every 40 minutes or so and proves to be a popular tourist attraction. With my in-laws in tow we set forth.

It reminded me of being on a big dipper as we cranked our way upwards, I just hoped that once we reached the top we wouldn't be hurtling down the other side at stomach wrenching speeds. Not so. Dotted across the mountainside were 'pottok' ponies. A breed unique to the Pyrenees and akin to Shetland ponies. Circling above them various birds of prey sought out their next meal.

The view from up there is quite amazing. The Basque country is laid out below. To the north the beaches stretch up towards Bordeaux. To the south San Sebastian reminds you of lunch. Westwards the mountains rise and fall into the distance and eastwards St Jean de Luz glistens by the Atlantic. Even my mother-in-law was impressed.

Basque of the day:- view :: ikusmen