Border Magic

(Saw this in the Spanish town, Irun on the border. Can you see the contraption over the bus? It extends down and connects with the roof of the electric bus. Could it be swapping out its used battery for a fully charged one while it picks up passengers at the bus stop?)

We spent a very quiet night in the car park at Irun, Spain. Next morning I noticed a river just behind us. While I was taking a picture I noticed something else… it was France over there. On the other side of the river there were signs, in French. I could see them… from Spain. Heady stuff. If only there was a time zone change. Oh well.

(I am standing in Spain taking a picture of France… that’s border magic)

On closer inspection I could see a bridge… to France. Maybe we could take the bridge? Maybe we would not have to pay the toll, again. Sorry, Estelle! Maybe things would go better today in France.We took the bridge, so far so good.

(The most beautiful villages in France)

Within an hour we had arrived at Labastide, a member of Les Plus Beaux Village de France. (The most beautiful villages in France.) It definitely deserves to be a member. I spoke to the nice young man in the tourist office and he said their village was the nicest. I am motivated to find out if he’s telling the truth. I wonder if there’s a The most beautiful villages in France guide book?

(Main street)

He also told me this was the Basque region of France and like it’s neighbour the Basque region in Spain it has two official languages. The people of both regions speak the same (small differences) language. I was intrigued by that.

(Modern water feature)

The town is adorable, old timber and stone houses with red roof tiles line the main street. There’s a church at one end and a port at the other. We were staying at the port. Well, it used to be a port, a river port but no longer in use. There were two restaurants (closed for dinner, Monday is often a closed day in France) the tourist office and lots of artist studios (most also closed.) The bakery was closed too. There was a shop selling macaroons. It was open. It would have been rude not to purchase, it was her granny’s recipe.

(Old shop fronts)

I went to see the Mairie (the Mayor). I didn’t actually see the mayor, just his office. To stay in the motorhome parking for the night you have to register with the mayor and pay your €5.

Done. Mairead.

(Labastide: Parking, €5 pay at Mariè, includes electricity, toilet.)