Tuesday, 25 January 2011

113. St Jean de Luz on film..

25th January 2011. If a picture's worth a thousand words, then what d'you suppose is the going rate for a short film..? I've decided to give my keyboard a rest for this post and instead show you activities in and around the jewel in the crown of the Pays Basque - St Jean de Luz.. You'll see traînières racing in the bay of St Jean; the Fête of the Rouge et Noir (when everyone wears black & red) and the Rue de la République - with all its restaurants - becomes alive with travelling bands; the mass fandango dancing in the Place Louis Quatorze, the Fête du Thon (Tuna Festival); the pelote players and the bulls stuffed with fireworks (crazy!):
This clip (below) was from the Fête de St Jean de Luz (when many are in red & black)... at 4:03 they start singing Hegoak - the Basque anthem which is sung on both sides of the border: It's clear that an overwhelming majority of the people take great pride in Basque cultural events and participation is widespread among ages in the community.

Now is it me - or does this not look like a lot of fun..?
A cultural interlude now - Maurice Ravel was born in Ciboure - across the harbour from St Jean de Luz - in the stone house just left of centre:

 Some more culture of the musical variety:
Here are some students and concerts from the Maurice Ravel Academy:
The huge waves from the Belharra Reef (mentioned before here) are next - truly gigantic and hard to believe but they're here.. just a few kilometers south of St Jean de Luz:

The fastest of all the ball games played in the Pays Basque is Pelote Basque. All the rules and variations are spelled out here.. When played with the chistera, the ball has been measured at speeds of 250-300 kph (155-185mph), which makes it the fastest bat and ball sport in the world.

Paddling one of these Polynesian pirogues in the surf looks like it could be fun!

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