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Another marathon bites the dust!

Nikole, dressed as a swan, standing behind Linzy and adding feathers to her hair.

Nikole putting final touches on Linzy’s costume. Linzy was a peacock, Nikole was a swan.

The marathon here in France was a success! Both girls finished – at some point both doubted they would. I did not attempt the whole marathon as I was under doctor’s orders (if I wanted to return to the U.S), so I fudged and walked the first 5-6 miles and then waited for Nikole at the end and walked the last mile in with her.

The marathon was filled with party animals, and the course traveled through 59 vineyards in Medoc. There were 22 wine rest stops (which of course I visited a few), and the route traveled right through the courtyards and residences, and down the access dirt ways through the vineyards. Since it was a party, most people dressed up as animals (the theme this year), but many French men cross-dressed. It is very strange to see hundreds of French men in corsets and fishnet tights running, but the most difficult adjustment was the men who wore only a thong… AND RAN. This was just a little too much, I think I have seen way too much French ass.

Then the race was over, I took over driving Bridget (the BMW) back to Bordeaux, which was interesting. We made it safely. Parking was an issue at the hotel, and I have come to the conclusion that the French park anywhere and there is no such thing as meter readers or parking police in France. You need to park really bad and block traffic before they care (I think); they even park in the turning lanes at lights – as long as a couple of cars can still turn – they just park far back from the light and fill those lanes.

The next day we headed for Spain. It was a beautiful drive along the Aquitaine Coast (150 miles of beach that stretched nearly from Bordeaux to Spain). The tide was pretty vicious, and even surfers were not present. We dipped our feet in the Atlantic (from this end), and sat at a café sipping cappuccinos.

Nikole and Judy running alongside a wave from the ocean

Nikole and I trying to not get caught in a wave on the Aquitaine Coast in southern France near Spain.

Spain was pretty amazing… wow. The road signs immediately switched from French to Spanish and we quickly learned that Spanish from Mexico and Spanish from Spain are very different. We had a difficult time understanding the language. However, we are not sure if it was really Spanish or Basque. If we had ventured deeper into Spain we may have figured that out, but that was not the case. We went as far as San Sebastian. Basque is the area located between Spain and France that is culturally different. It was interesting to see the difference (almost immediately) between the countryside and the architecture. Basque is known for the white houses with green shutters and traditional red Spanish-style tiled roofs. The food is based off seafood (as they are fisherman), so  there was lots of sea veggies and squid on the menu.

We also learned that we stumbled into Basque country during Basque Week; a week-long event where all the resident villages get together for friendly competition, culminating with a rowing match. All the different villagers wear different colored tee shirts to show their spirit. On the final day, the rowing competition takes place (on Sunday) with a major party in the streets filled with drinking and dancing. Guess what day we stumbled into Spain on? We ended up in the streets with all the happy Basque, and as luck would have it, ended up having dinner next to the winning team’s flag bearers. It ended up being an interesting evening that included the group trying to explain to the amerikanas the importance of the rowing event to their culture. I have never seen so much partying with thousands of people drinking for blocks and blocks. It made Bourbon Street in New Orleans or 6th Street in Austin look pitiful.

Blocks of people in the street

The Basque really know how to party. Here they are taking to the streets. Block after block after block… thousands of people!

Linzy and Nikole sitting with three men from the Basque rowing team

Linzy and Nikole with the flag bearers of the winning Basque rowing team.

We had a relaxing drive through the countryside back to Paris. Tomorrow is our last day in France. It has been a wonderful visit with the girls.

First Friday Art Show!
They drive like amerikanas
About Maya

My name is Maya, and I wander.

Comments

  1. I think I must be secretly French or Spanish. Either that, or your report has made marathoning and visiting these two countries look really, really fun. Thanks for sharing and kudos to your kiddos finishing another marathon on another continent!

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