Friday, October 30, 2015

à Paris et au pays basque

The trip ended over a month ago, and it's taken that long to catch up on everything left behind and to let the experience sink in.

Quick backstory:
I lived in France form 1986 to 1987, doing a typical junior year abroad, and being an English teacher's assistant at a Paris high school. Since then Basque country has been a bit of an obsession. The coastline, mild climate, lush countryside, and cool little towns all intrigued me. Mind you, this was all long before I surfed.
Fast forward to today:
The intrigue evolved to obsession. so as a a belated birthday present to myself, for turning 50 back in March, I said what the hell and bought tickets and made reservations.
'Basque Country' in Basque - done in the official Basque font - go there you'll know what I'm talking about.

What was it like?
Imagine a far off land, half-remembered from a dream, but somehow you know the language, and you know your way around. That's what it was like. It's one of those trips where everything works out well, and you know it and savor the smooth sailing.
Sacre bleu! Tonnere de Brest! Careful what you wish for, the power here is unlike anything ever surfed before. Dare I say there's more punch here than in California. I always knew this was a legendary part of the surf world, and the Basque Coast did not disappoint. It took some getting used to, but by the end of the trip the Franco/Basque surf and surf culture had charmed yet another Gringo.
But it wasn't all surf
Paris was as splendid as ever after almost 30 years, and Basque country has so much to offer it was overwhelming. Plus now I can add Spain to another country on my small but growing list.
Day trip to Spain, crazy windy and the brightest rainbow I've ever seen!
More detailed posts to follow, but I didn't want any more time to pass before sharing pictures and ideas.