ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Friday, June 14, 2013

St. Jean Pied de Port: A Beautiful Meander

We reached home in the wee hours on Thursday morning. Our last day was fraught with a bit of stress due to an Air France labour dispute that caused many internal flights to be cancelled. Fortunately we made it home as planned despite the strike. I am now getting ready to teach my "Dye Another Day" class tomorrow at the Country Quilter in Richmond, Ontario. It will be an outdoor class on the very same day and site as the annual Richmond outdoor quilt show.

I have a few more blog posts about our trip that I will publish in the next week. For today I am going to talk about possibly my absolute favorite village on the trip: St. Jean Pied de Port. The name literally means "St. John at the foot of the mountain pass". This town is the last stop before taking the arduous mountain crossing on the pilgramage to Santiago de Compostela, along the Camino Trail. It is believed that the remains of St. James lie at the Compestela in northern Spain. Today both religious pilgrims and extreme sport pilgrims walk the 800 km Camino Trail to reach the Compostela. The gate of the town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I was in love the moment I walked through the gates of St. Jean Pied de Port. Steep narrow streets, well preserved ancient buildings, and a medieval wall surrounding the town charmed me.

In several locations there are stairs to ascend to a walkway that encircles the entire town and provides a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside. 

This photo looks like a ladder to the heavens.

Here's the walkway around the wall, that allows unobstructed views into the backyards and gardens of town residents.

The Nive River runs through the town, and there are several beautiful bridges crossing it. The Nive River is the same river that also ran past our hotel property in St. Ettienne de Baigorry (see my last blog post).

Another walkway runs along the river.

A beautiful location to meander for a day.


  1. Love the photos. Reminds me a bit of a cross between Olde Englande and Southern Spain! And teaching with jet lag?! You are to be commended! :-)

    1. It is Basque country Margaret, and only a couple of km from Spain, which I will be posting about this week. When you make your living as a quilt artist, you work when the work is there! You sleep when the work isn't there ;-)))

  2. Welcome back, Elaine! We missed you but we DID enjoy the vicarious trip :-) Great blog posts. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Carolynn, and there will be more trip photos this week.

    2. What beautiful sights--thanks for letting us enjoy the travel vicariously. I went to Spain in 2004 for our 50th anniversary--how I would love to do it again! Enjoy!


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