A day in Bayonne
Most of the streets in the old town center are pedestrian, rendering the walk one of the soothing and strolling kind. Bayonne is known for it’s chocolate, so I tend to pop into the many Chocolatiers there to get some in it’s intial non manufactured form (you buy it by the weight in big chunks).
Bayonne prospered from the 13th to 15th centuries under the dubious protection of the Anglo-Norman kings who ruled Aquitaine. Thanks to Jews, who were expelled en masse from Spain, fresh commercial vitality prospered again a century later and they must be forever thanked for establishing chocolate making as a local trade. The town’s 18th-century commercial wealth was totally fuelled by the Basque pirate ships, which landed cargoes much more valuable than the tonnes of cod caught off the coast of Newfoundland by the massive Basque fishing fleet!
It’s also great to go have tapas along the Adour or Nive river, where on a summer or winter night, you can easily have a great time and meet loads of locals ready to party! This has already happened to me a few times and me and my pals always ended up by having a great time. The Basque like their drink but also like a knees up.
So after some chocolate eating and a drink in the “marché couvert” (indoor market), I went for a long stroll in the little winding streets before heading home with a smile!