Day 0 – Bayonne to St Jean Pied de Port

Our first stamp in our pilgrim passport

Despite our pre-planning, we forgot today was a Sunday, which wasn’t a big deal except it wasn’t until mid morning coffee that we realized on Sundays there is no noon train to St. Jean Pied de Port. That in itself wasn’t a big deal as we had shopping to do so we could do it in Bayonne except it was Sunday and in Bayonne most shops don’t open on Sundays, so we had 3 hours to kill before the next train.

Cathedral of Bayonne

Off to see the inside of the cathedral, except mass was in full swing, it being Sunday as I have already mentioned. So more coffee and waited for mass to end before we could go into the grand cathedral. It was very beautiful with stained glass and painted artwork.

We got to the train an hour early as we didn’t have anything else to do and we were glad we did as the train was open for boarding and already filling up. We sat next to Sophie, a woman from Montreal and ended up adopting her. She did not have any reservations for tonight nor at Orisson (halfway up the mountain) tomorrow —a must, without one you have to keep going up and over the mountain to Roncesvalles in one day rather than two. And only really fit people (and Norwegians) can accomplish that feat without dying. Someone already died this week in their sleep at Roncsevalles.

So, since we are down one person and hold spare reservations we lured Sophie into staying with us.

Pilgrim greeting pilgrims at St Jean Pied du Port train station

We found our albergue and right across the street a family run restaurant. More food to propell us up the mountain.

Cheek of sole

For evening entertainment Sophie showed us a female peeing tool for certain situations.

Sophie with her tool

Kilometers walked: less than 6k

Food highlights: Basque cake, ice cream and trout cheeks.

Highlight: finding Sophie

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