The day dawned with clear skies and sunshine and everyone was up and going early...all off in different directions.
Ben, Jenna and Josh decided to find some wineries in the Bordeaux area...Tris, Dan and Hugh explored Biarritz...Di and Brian took on the challenge of feeding everyone for the night so they headed out to get supplies...Brenden, Tori and young William decided after their full day out yesterday that they would relax around the pool...
Janene and I decided it was time to head down into Spain and explore San Sebastian...so we tackled the A63 Autoroute to get there.
We went through toll payment after toll payment about 8 euros down and then the same back. We enjoyed the drive down and laughed as the signs changed from the french that had become so familiar to espaniol...a big mind shift for me!! I had just got my head around the french pleasantries and now my brain was struggling with a change of tack!!
We arrived about midday just before the traditional siesta time we had now got used to...or so we thought! We drove round and round trying to find a parking space which seemed totally impossible when we came upon a sign for an underground parking complex...did we dare to venture in? Yes we did...wondering all the way whether we were in the right place...finally we got to the boom gate for tickets and found that we were indeed in a public parking lot...whew!
We entered out into the sunshine and began to explore...the buildings were beautiful and very eclectic in design.
We could smell the ocean, which we hadn't been able to do at any of the other seaside villages we had visited. We crossed the bridge over the large river that flows out into the sea in search of the "Shopping District"!
We found some lovely shops to wander through but of course the siesta time was fast approaching...no worries we thought...we will go have some lunch then shop after...this is when we discovered that in Spain the siesta runs from 1pm till 4.30pm!!!! A long time to window shop!!!!
We grabbed a delicious gelato and began to explore...there were some shops still open, but the staff were not very excited to be working and more or less ignored us so it became a little like self serve!!
Nini managed to find some lovely things by the end of our wandering and even got the girl's attention enough to pay for them as well.
We wandered some more and stopped by a beautiful old church for some food and decided that we would head home as a dip in the pool seemed very inviting indeed...it was about 4.15pm and some of the shops were beginning to open their doors. As we walked back to the car we stopped at a few more just to make sure we hadn't missed anything.
Paying for the parking was easier than expected and not quite as expensive as we had feared...8euros for the afternoon. Nini manouvered her way out of the deep, dark depths of the carpark up into the sunshine very expertly indeed...we then headed for home...or so we thought!!
Our original plan was to avoid the autoroute and wander home up the coast...but this was thwarted as we couldn't find any roads that went that way...we then found signs sending us back to Francais...but then when we got to roundabouts and stopped at endless traffic lights for pedestrain crossings, with no pedestrians in sight...there were no more signs to follow...we ended up in the port area in amongst some building demolision...so we retraced or steps and tried again...but to no avail!! Eventually an hour later we were still driving around Spain and feeling very trapped...hahaha...final decision was to head over the river to see if that was marked with better signs to follow...
Eventually we managed to find the Autoroute, which of course had a different number because we were in Spain and followed this over the border into France and onto our beloved (now) A63!!! We gladly paid the tolls and in another 45 minutes were home.
We now love the roads in France and all their roundabouts and signs everywhere because in Spain they have way too many traffic lights for invisible pedestrians and cars and no "toutes directions"!!!!