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Easy French Practice

Touring “La Rhune” in France’s Pays Basque – Bilingual Story

By Myriam on June 5, 2017
Myriam

Follow Don’s trip to the France’s Pays Basque region and practice your French with this French English bilingual story written in easy French.

Pendant mon sĂ©jour d’immersion en français chez Evelyne,  j’ai fait une excursion Ă  La Rhune, une montagne au sud d’Anglet (Bayonne), sur la frontiĂšre espagnole.

During my French immersion  residential stay with Evelyne, I took an excursion to La Rhune, a mountain south of Anglet (Bayonne), on the Spanish border.

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1 – Making a New Friend in France

Une amie d’Evelyne qui s’appelle Martine m’a conduit Ă  la montagne, et ce que j’ai apprĂ©ciĂ© chez Martine, c’est la chaleur avec laquelle elle m’a introduit Ă  ce coin du Pays Basque. Pendant le trajet, nous avons rigolĂ© en discutant de la culture du Pays Basque, des politiques du monde et de nos familles. Je me sentais vraiment Ă  l’aise avec elle.

A friend of Evelyne’s named Martine drove me to the mountain, and what I appreciated about her was the warmth with which she introduced me to this part of the Basque Country. During the drive, we laughed, talking about the Basque Country culture, world politics and our families. I truly felt at ease with her.

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2 – The Rhune Mountain

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La Rhune est le premier sommet Ă  l’ouest des PyrĂ©nĂ©es. Elle a une altitude de 905 mĂštres, avec une vue imprenable sur la mer, sur les villes de la rĂ©gion, et sur les deux cĂŽtĂ©s de la frontiĂšre.

La Rhune is the first summit to the west of the Pyrenees. It is 2,969 feet high, with an unobstructed view of the sea, the region’s towns, and both sides of the border.

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3 – Boarding the Rhune Train

Pour y arriver, nous sommes allĂ©s au petit village situĂ© au Col de St-Ignace oĂč se trouve la gare pour «Le petit train de La Rhune», un train Ă  ciel ouvert qui monte au sommet de la montagne.

 To get there, we went to the little village at the Pass of Saint Ignatius, where you can find the station for “The Little Train of La Rhune,” an open-air train that goes up to the summit of the mountain.

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Ce qui me paraissait formidable, c’était le beau temps. Le temps Ă©tait parfait–ni trop froid, ni trop chaud, pas de nuages–et le train Ă  ciel ouvert s’est ajoutĂ© au plaisir du beau temps.

What I found terrific was the beautiful weather. It was perfect–not too hot, not too cold, no clouds–and the open-air train just added to the pleasure of the nice weather.

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Le trajet de ce train de collection, de la base jusqu’au sommet, a durĂ© 35 minutes, et pendant l’ascension on a pu voir des brebis, des vautours, et des «pottoks» (chevaux semi-sauvages de la rĂ©gion).

The trajectory of this vintage train, from the base to the summit, lasted 35 minutes, and during the ascent, we could see sheep, vultures and “pottoks” (the region’s partially domesticated horses).

4 – Reaching the Top of la Rhune

Au sommet, qui est sur la frontiĂšre espagnole, il y a des boutiques de marchandises espagnoles, mais elles Ă©taient fermĂ©es, parce que ce n’était pas encore la saison touristique -du moins, c’est ce que nous avons imaginĂ©, Martine et moi, parce que nous n’avons pas trouvĂ© une meilleure explication.

At the top, which is on the Spanish border, there were shops carrying Spanish merchandise, but they were closed, because it wasn’t yet tourist season–at least, that’s what Martine and I imagined, because we didn’t find any better explanation.

Mais ce qui Ă©tait vraiment beau, c’était la vue Ă  couper le souffle! Nous avons pu voir les PyrĂ©nĂ©es couvertes de neige au sud et Ă  l’ouest, les petites fermes basques sur les collines dans toutes directions, la mer toute bleue Ă  l’ouest, et les villes de Hendaye, St-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz, Anglet et Bayonne Ă  l’ouest et au nord.

But what I found really beautiful was the breathtaking view! We were able to see the snow-covered Pyrenees to the south and west, the little Basque farms on the hills in every direction, the very blue sea to the west, and the towns of Hendaye, St-Jean-de-Luz, Biarritz, Anglet and Bayonne to the west and north.

Nous avons marché pendant une quarantaine de minutes, puis nous sommes redescendus par le train.

We walked around for about forty minutes, then we went back down by the train.

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Pendant le retour chez Evelyne, nous sommes passĂ©s par le beau petit village de Sare, oĂč nous nous sommes arrĂȘtĂ©s pour regarder Ă  l’intĂ©rieur de la jolie Ă©glise basque et son cimetiĂšre juste Ă  l’extĂ©rieur.

On the way back to Evelyne’s, we passed through the cute little village of Sare, where we stopped to look inside the pretty Basque church and its cemetery just outside it.

J’ai bien aimĂ© la montagne, la vue imprenable, le petit train et le village de Sare, mais ce qui m’a plu le plus, c’était que je me suis fait une nouvelle amie, et grĂące Ă  Martine, j’ai passĂ© un aprĂšs-midi inoubliable!

I liked the mountain, its unobstructed view, the little train and the village of Sare, but what pleased me the most was that I made a new friend, and, thanks to Martine, I had an unforgettable afternoon!

If you liked this article, why not consider a stay at Evelyne or Myriam homes in Pays Basque to better your French? Here is more info about the French Immersion Residential courses recommended by French Today.

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