Took a day to see St Jean Pied de Port. Turns out the house we were sheltered in last night was built in 1510 (a rebuild of a building from the 13th century!), and is the birthplace of a St Jean de (couldn’t understand this).
We (Sieglinde and I) decided to wait and leave tomorrow because the pass over the mountain was closed due to inclement weather and it is supposed to start getting nice tomorrow.
The town is surrounded by a small but thick intact wall and there is a citadel at the top of the town overlooking the valley. We walked on top of the wall, visited the citadel and a small cemetery, and a small museum. We walked into town through the gate where pilgrims the from France enter, and then checked out the route that we would take out of town tomorrow, stopping to visit the church just before the city gate where the now vastly inflated number of pilgrims will pass on our way to Spain.
Saw trout under the bridge in town making their way upstream to spawn.
Sieglinde continues to talk to me (in German) regardless of my comprehension. I get bits and pieces (breakfast, muesli, banana,… daughter? what does her daughter have to do with breakfast) but it is a comfortable non-comprehension. She has very fixed ideas about what things should be and what they should not be, and is always on the look out for a good price and good quality. She insisted that I buy walking sticks for the trip. After looking at sticks all over town we went back to one store and after 30 minutes she decided the walking sticks I was looking at were ok, so I bought them. While we were at the pilgrim’s office making reservations for the auberge at Orisson for tomorrow night she insisted I choose a shell from the basket to put on my pack to identify me as a pilgrim.
On the french side someone actually complemented me on my French, but then they didn’t talk to me for very long.
Navigation links at very bottom of the post, after comments.