The weekend after Final exams were over I packed up and went to Bayonne, France. In 2008 when I came to Europe I visited Coralie and her family, friends of mine in Bayonne. They insisted that I must come back again to visit the Fete de Bayonne and this was my chance. I honestly had no idea what to expect and was completely blown away. I take pride in how cheap I can manage to work out transportation. From my door in Deggendorf it cost me only 26 Euros to arrive in Paris (Train to Munich, bus to Paris). I then took the TGV from Paris to Bayonne for 22 Euros. It’s pretty hard to find tickets any cheaper than that considering this is a nearly a 2,000KM journey.
10 days in Bayonne proved to be interesting. The Fete de Bayonne was more than I ever imagined. It’s literally a non-stop 24 hours-a-day festival running from Wednesday to Sunday night. In the streets during the day are parades, music, dancing, festivals and events. Everyone is dressed up in the Pay-Basque attire which is white and red. Coralie and Antoine helped me buy the essentials I needed before the fest. I enjoyed things such as the scurrying up the poles while launching empty plastic bottles at the contenders and the running with the torros (course des vasche). During the 5 days of the fete we stayed the night at Coralie’s uncle’s house which was centrally located in town. All in all, it was 5 days of going out at night, partying, coming home, sleeping till mid-morning, then cooking and going to the beach or a friend’s house to have a BBQ, then the whole process over again… x5. Everyone’s white clothes were nothing short of black by the end of the week. I had never experienced such a crazy event in my life as the Fete de Bayonne.
Apart from the festival, we took a day trip to northern Spain, spent time on the beach, and saw the beautiful city of Biarritz. All in all I had a wonderful time with the Lopes family and I returned home only wanted a rejuvenated appreciation, interest, and likeness for France and learning French. After nearly two weeks of speaking 95% French, I also came to the conclusion that it’s easier and more comfortable for me to speak French than German. Those 4 years in High School really did pay off!
I was really thankful to have got to know Coralie’s boyfriend Antoine while in my time in France. He shared with me a national park in Sweden that he visited last summer. I had plans to go to Sweden with Kyle at the end of August. After seeing Antoine’s photos of Sweden I changed my whole plan for Sweden in order to accommodate a trip to this national park. It ended up being TRULY amazing. A diamond in the rough found only through word of mouth. Later posts will show Kyle’s and my time in Sweden.
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