A sunny drive from Zaragosa, Spain while I fell in and out of consciousness during the 3 hour drive through varying landscapes towards the Basque Region of Spain & France destination Saint Jean de Luz, a sweet little village on the Atlantic coast. I’ve been on this route before, many times, to take advantage of my quintessential french flat that I’ve had for the last year, right smack in the middle of the village on a very touristy and sometimes noisy pedestrian-only street.
The drive here from Spain is so picturesque. The shades of white to red colored earth on the endless rolling fields and jagged mountains of Spain, the smell of the pine trees, ancient Cariñena vineyards and olive groves, to the “wild wild west” landscapes reminiscent of old American spaghetti western movies. All of this can be seen while on the practically perfect and often empty motorway.
I remember, when I first came this way, I expected the signs along the motorway to convert from Spanish to French but instead I found words containing loads of consonants, looking a lot like an eastern European language but not. Fact: The Basque (Euskara) language has no known linguistic relatives and is spoken in northern Spain and south west of France along the Pyrenees by just over 600,000 people.
So, that’s one distinctive and immediately noticeable thing as I sit comfortably and feel surprisingly well-rested on this drive. But seriously, what makes me ohh & ahh is how soft the landscape becomes. The once jagged mountain-tops suddenly become round and green often dotted with little specks of white, ochre and brown that I lovingly call “fluffy things”. These “fluffy things” I’m referring to are the sheep, cows, horses and maybe even goats grazing en route to Saint Jean de Luz.
Had a new thought on this trip while going through the Basque landscape – with all the farms and livestock, no wonder I haven’t ever had a bad meal on my trips here. I look forward to eating on this trip – who am I kidding, I ALWAYS look forward to eating!
As I drive into the center of this Atlantic fishing village, I’m so happy to see Christmas trees and lights! But void of all the tourists, yippee!