The nearby fishing town of Socoa can be glimpsed from our balcony 


The small boat harbour beneath the old fort at Socoa


They were posing for dad but Brian also grabbed this opportunity

Small unknown French village near Spanish border

Wonderful news!! Lynn visited the local tourist office by chance and discovered that a major 3 day Festival is commencing tonight. It's a massive celebration of St Jean de Luz as a place with a high emphasis on its Basque heritage. Apparently all locals and visitors are expected to wear red and black clothing (basque colours) for the next 3 days and complete their outfit with the traditional red Basque neck scarf.

We were told that the town would come alive with marching bands, strolling street minstrels, choirs, classical orchestras, pop music concerts, traditional dancing, historical re-enactments and various religious celebrations.

This was a fabulous windfall as we had no idea that this event would coincide with our visit. And with so many visitors in town it was incredibly fortuitous that we had booked our hotel about four months ahead of our arrival.

Look folks, the St Jean de Luz Festival turned out to be a fabulous experience for us both. So much singing, dancing, music and surprise "happenings" were taken place as we strolled around town. It was tremendously colourful and happy and we were just tickled pink. We've tried to capture the feeling with photos, videos and music files but nothing measures up to actually being there in the thick of it. Nevertheless the following few web pages will hopefully give you a hint of what it was like.


Various bands would play beneath our hotel balcony every hour or so

Happy bunch of Basque drinkers at a temporary outdoor bar

Multiple Basque bands marched up and down streets and alleys

Crowds of people all wearing red and black or black and red !

"Artistic" shot of accordianist resulting from an unscheduled bumping

Even this Basque dog wore his black duds and a red neck scarf

This guy was one drink short of total collapse but having a ball

Sometimes bands walked into bars and played a few impromptu numbers

In our "Basque" gear. The locals were extremely intrigued by Brian's use of our red & white picnic tablecloth. A fraction bulky perhaps?

This folk group has an extremely dynamic repertoire which included much in the Celtic style found in some places along the French Atlantic coast

We just loved the jolly band music which filled much of each day

Two budding bullfighters gave us a demo in the town square

A very noisy, beer drinking  rugby team kept us very entertained

One of these guys went on to actually perform a credible Maori haka !!

Impromptu dancing was commonplace throughout the town's alleys

Dancing to some pretty hot accordian music

Lynn tried to drag Brian in for a late night evening seafood supper

"You want photo? Ok, you can take photo"

Please now click through to Page 7 for more festival content