Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bidart - First Night

Our trip to Bidart started off in the typical French way. Because of Hurricanes the week before, roads and rails were closed. That was a week ago and there's been time to clear the way (see below). Our train to Bidart was confirmed on the web the night before and this morning. However, when we showed up at the train station, trains to Bidart were only going to Bordeaux, about 2 hours away. All the rental cars at the Bordeaux train station were already reserved. Our train was direct so we couldn't get out one stop before Bordeaux to get a car there. We canceled our train tickets and rented a car from Paris and drove 8.5 hours to get here.

The house we're staying in felt a little creepy--the door was blown open and a light was on. But fortunately no one had entered since our friends (who are renting it) left it a week ago.

We took a little drive around town, basically one big city block and had dinner at the only open restaurant--Elissaldia--a hotel in town that looks like it serves as the main gathering point for everyone. There is a large square in front and a large racquetball court in back. Men come in to play and then take a beer at the bar afterwards. I enjoyed a delicious Hake (merlu en francais) and salad. Emmanuel enjoyed fresh fois and duck. For dessert-- a traditional Basque cake and an apple tart.

After all that, I was in bed by 9:30 and ready for a long night's sleep.