Camino -3 days: Paris to Bayonne

Go south, old man. So I did…

I had a train ticket for 12.28pm from Paris Gare Montparnasse to Bayonne in the southwest of France. Bayonne is the stepping stone to St Jean Pied de Port if you come from the north and from Paris.

Lise joined me walking from hers and Greg’s place to the Gare. A lightning fast tour of some of Paris major tourist attractions as we passed many of them along the way. Bastille yet again, Notre Dame, the Louvre, Pont Neuf, Latin Quarter etc. Here is the map.

It started raining before we left, then stopped as we walked and rained again closer to the train station.

You may not see that in this picture of me with my baguette lunch in my hand but I was also a bit damp. Make that a fair bit damp.

Lise, of course, was wearing proper wet gear.

Then it was “Bye Lise / Bye Hans”. “Come and visit us in Melbourne / when are you and Good Mrs coming back to Europe”. I found my seat on the train and Lise wandered off to meet a family friend.

As the TGV Atlantique left Gare Montparnasse in Paris, the rain was coming down good.

I set myself up for the 5 hours train journey.

My backpack on shelf above and behind me. And me.

The train arrived in Bayonne at 5.30pm as per schedule. My Hotel Cote Basque is right across the street from Gare Bayonne.

This may be the last time for a while where I have space to myself and some privacy. Better make full use of it.

View of Gare Bayonne from my hotel window. That is how close it was.

The same view as dark settles.

The view off the hotel the other way and across the river. Exploration required.

And in the dark…

Bayonne was quite a surprise to me. It was much nicer that I somehow anticipated. Although I didn’t know much about it. The old town centre is where two rivers meet.

I am not sure what this lovely building it. Google Maps doesn’t say. Neither does my freebie map I got from reception. I seem to recall that it said “Theatre” or similar at the front. Maybe some secret French business….

A few photos from Bayonne’s lovely old town on the other side of the river.

As I returned to base, I popped in at Gare Bayonne to get a train ticket for St Jean Pied de Port for tomorrow. It took a while to navigate the software of the machine but I got my ticket in the end.

There were only two choices for a Sunday, either 7.56am or the one I chose 2.56pm. Not a long journey. It takes a little more than 1 hour with a halfway change from train to bus due to track maintenance work.

Dinner. Time was approaching 8pm and I passed a pizzeria selling Calzone for 10€. What the heck. I get one and take it back to my hotel room which was a couple of minutes away.

This must be the sorriest Calzone that I have ever seen. Ordinary in taste as well but it all went down in the end.

Time is 9pm as I wrote this. No alcohol tonight. Instead an early night, pilgrim style.

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