Last night Mark and I decided to book a couple of nights in Pau on the edge of the Pyrenees so we had a much shorter drive today with a couple of stops in very attractive small towns. Our first stop was in Grenade-sur-l’Adour where Mark managed to listen (on line) to the Crusaders beat the Sharks while I sat in a small market and did another sketch. I bought two excellent nectarines for about 60 cents NZ and had a wander over a bridge where there were some people with Canadian style canoes on the river.
We decided to get lost for a while and turned off all navigation aids and put our map aside. The countryside here is rolling, green and the farming is dominated by giant maize crops with occasional paddocks of sunflowers. It gets a bit samey after a while but the villages are charming with big churches and arcades around the squares. We stopped again at Geaune (pic above) before joining the toll autoroute to Pau.
The GPS took us round the block a few times then told us we were at our hotel when we certainly were not, although we could not blame it when we found that the place was on a road closed to traffic. We found a 15 minute park and then the hotel but reception was closed until 3pm so we re-parked in an underground area and adjourned for lunch. The temperature was about 30 degrees so a beer in a shady restaurant went down well.
Back at the hotel we arranged parking and got complicated instructions on how to get the bollards lowered so we could get the car into the pedestrian area. We also have a remote control for the gate at the hotel.
Think we’ll go out for a walk shortly.
The walk eventuated and took me to the Chateaux de Pau where Henry IV of England and also King of Aquataine was born. Apparently they show the turtle shell which was supposedly used as his cradle in the castle but as you can only visit the castle with a tour and the tours are only in French I may not get to see it. From a terrace which runs along one side of the city you can, they say, see the high Pyrenees, but today is too hazy for any view.