This week has again flown by. We can’t believe it’s already La Fête Nationale! On Monday, Program Coordinator Sophie took Summer 2 to St. Jean de Luz, where the drizzly weather cleared up in just enough time for us to enjoy a delightful tour around this incredible town. The group visited the l’église de Jean Baptiste, where Louis XIV married Marie Thérèse d’Autriche. Next, we explored Place de Louis XIV, and then it was off to the port! After that, we walked along the beach and back into the town center, where Sophie showed everyone the original Maison d’Adam, one of the most famous macaroon salons in France. It has been there since before Louis XVI got married for the first time — they even offered macaroons to the Royal family for the celebration. Last, but not least, Sophie showed the students the main street where they could do some shopping!
The Month & 6-Week Group went with Philippe to St. Jean Pied de Port, where we were given a very interesting lesson on the St. Jacques de Compostelle pilgrimage — the route passes right through this town and pilgrims are able to receive stamps on their pilgrimage “passports.” We also walked along the ramparts, which were built to defend the city from Ottoman invaders in the 14th century.
Wednesday, the group as a whole went to Bayonne — Month & 6-Week students headed off to the Atelier du Chocolat, where we learned about the process of chocolate-making; the best part was, of course, the sampling we got to do at the end of the tour of some of the best chocolate in France! Summer 2 headed to the Musée Basque, where they learned about the history of the region and why Basque culture is still so prevalent even in modern days. Next, they got to tour the cathedral, and then it was off to the main streets in the Old Town for some ice cream and shopping. Everyone met back up in the center, where we let the students decide to stay for the Medieval market festival that was happening in Bayonne, or return home. The students who chose to stay got to enjoy a live cannon firing, several little stands filled with handmade trinkets, and a taste of medieval culture as people in costume took to the streets and told tales of life in the Middle Ages.
Today we had a picnic on the beach in Biarritz to celebrate Bastille Day, and tonight there are fireworks at the Grande Plage! We are having a great time, but can’t believe we have two groups leaving on Saturday — que le temps passe vite!