Pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France by da-AL

We were headed for Basque country. The region has its own language and operates much like an independent country located within two countries. Half is in France (Pays basque français), the other half is in Spain (País Vasco).

my husband and I amid French farmland
We had a great time in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port!

Our vacation started in Spain (which I love so much that my upcoming novel is titled, “Flamenco & the Sitting Cat”) with Barcelona, where we rented a car. Along the way, we had lunch in the city of Huesca. A day’s drive and five miles past the Spanish border, we arrived at our introduction to the Basque region, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. We spent a night and the following half day in the lovely one-main-street town.

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port lies along the river Nive. It’s the starting point for the Camino de Santiago, a pilgrim’s way that’s as popular among the devout as it is with hikers, cyclists, and tourists.


Author and husband in front of French farmhouse
We stayed at this 300-year-old farmhouse that used to be a monastery.

This vacation was our first time staying at people’s homes instead of hotels. The experience turned out to be as exciting and fun as visiting the cities.


Melanie, her place, and her food were all terrific!

Melanie, originally from California, was an excellent hostess. She married into a family that for 300 years has owned this farmhouse and the expanse of grassy farmland around it.

Melanie works hard on remodeling the farmhouse.


My husband and I are good at packing, but with this trip we surpassed ourselves.

I can hardly believe we traveled this light!

Thanks to watching several Rick Steves’ travel videos, we decided that we wouldn’t have any baggage to check in for our flight. This is our entire baggage for our two-and-a-half week trip.

Our vacation had started in beautiful Barcelona. From there we drove through wonderful Huesca, pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

Next we were off to enchanting Espelette, and into French Basque Country.

Then, back in Spain, we’d marvel at the food and seaside dogs of San Sebastián, Spain and breathtaking Bilbao

What’s your favorite part of travelling?

62 thoughts on “Pretty Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France by da-AL

  1. Crystal Stewart January 28, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    Did you watch Rick Steve’s videos on PBS? I know he’s on their a lot. It’s hard to believe you traveled that light. I don’t travel.

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL January 29, 2018 / 2:22 pm

      some on PBS, some I got from public library, some on youtube. judging by marvelous pix on your site, you’ve got plenty to see right at home 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. roijoyeux January 28, 2018 / 9:44 am

    I love this part of the country (Pays Basque “Pyrénées Atlantiques” …) … My favorite part of traveling is visiting and tasting the local food

    Liked by 1 person

    • da-AL January 29, 2018 / 2:17 pm

      France has such good food no matter where one goes — would think it would spoil you for anywhere else!

      Liked by 1 person

      • roijoyeux January 30, 2018 / 11:18 am

        That’s what my mother says, French cuisine and Chinese food are the best in the whole world, we’re very lucky

        Liked by 1 person

        • da-AL January 30, 2018 / 1:38 pm

          I love Chinese food! most people I know love Italian best. Persian food is another across the board crowd pleaser

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Antoinette Truglio Martin January 28, 2018 / 7:51 am

    Spain is such a beautiful country. I did a short version of the Camino de Santiago with my daughter and was in constant awe of the beauty.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Blogging_with_Bojana January 28, 2018 / 12:52 am

    We’re light travelers too. I find excess baggage burdening. And we like staying at people’s homes . It’s much more personal.
    I love everything about travel. Spain with its places, its people and food is always a good idea.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Stella, oh, Stella January 28, 2018 / 12:44 am

    Looks fantastic! I am impressed by your light luggage. It must have been great travelling that way!

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL January 29, 2018 / 2:14 pm

      thank you, Stella – it was great being so mobile 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sharon Bonin-Pratt January 27, 2018 / 10:58 pm

    The portrait of you two is beautiful. Seems like you had a great time and hope to learn more about your vacation.

    Liked by 2 people

    • da-AL January 29, 2018 / 2:13 pm

      glad you liked it – am dribbling out the cities unlike I originally planned, as I always find comosing a post to take longer than I anticipate…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Jayshree January 27, 2018 / 6:59 pm

    My fav part is trying differnt local dishes… And visiting historical places..

    Liked by 2 people

  8. anne leueen January 27, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    Great packing! it makes such a difference to not have bags to schlep around. I enjoyed your photos too.

    Liked by 4 people

    • da-AL January 29, 2018 / 2:11 pm

      glad you enjoyed them — I was worried at first, but it worked out perfectly. have decided it’s the only way to travel

      Liked by 1 person

    • da-AL January 29, 2018 / 2:10 pm

      funny how here in Los Angeles anything over 30 years is old…

      Liked by 2 people

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