Day 4: Caught in the Air France strike, but sightseeing in Lourdes Pau anyway – 2014 Medoc Marathon Diary No.12

Medoc marathon and North French trip in September 2014
Medoc marathon and North French trip in September 2014

Local Time: September 14, 2014

Leg recovery is going well.

One night has passed since the Medoc Marathon. I was worried about the condition of my legs, but I took good care of them after the race, and although there was some damage, it was not so much muscle pain.

This trip was scheduled for four nights and six days: I took a midnight flight directly from the office on the night of the 10th, arrived in France in the early morning of the day before the show, spent the 14th, the day after the show, in the countryside of Aquitaine, and returned home on the morning flight of the 15th.

Early in the morning of the 14th, Air France informed me that the flight was cancelled due to a strike…

Early in the morning of the 14th, I suddenly received this email from Air France.

The next day, the 15th, I was supposed to go to Paris once in the morning and return to Narita directly from Paris, but first of all, the flight to Paris was gone…

News reports indicate that it was a strike by the pilots.

エールフランス、9月15日から22日までストライキ予定 日本路線にも影響 | FlyTeam ニュース


Anyway, I checked out of the hotel early in a hurry and decided to check the situation directly at the airport because the information on the Internet was not enough.

I might be able to catch a flight to Paris during the 14th, so I filled up the rental car with gas and went to the airport so that I could return it anytime.

We’ve got an early 7:10 a.m. flight to Paris on the 15th!

I arrived at the airport at 9am. It was not as crowded as I expected and the Air France counter in the airport was very empty.



Start sightseeing with peace of mind and visit Lourdes of your dreams.

Although there was an unexpected event that some flights were cancelled due to a strike, we were able to secure a safe route, so we changed our minds and drove south to enjoy our last full day.

Oh yeah, I didn’t have to return the car that day after all. It was as originally planned. (I was originally scheduled to fly to Paris on the 11 a.m. flight.)

It takes about three hours from Bordeaux to the south. We headed to Lourdes at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains. This is a town that I have said many times in the past that I would like to go there, but I have never been able to visit it even though I was passing by.

“It is very famous for the Lourdes Fountain, which is a holy place for Catholics and a place of pilgrimage.

We finished re-arranging our tickets around 10:00 a.m. and arrived at Lourdes just before 1:00 p.m.

Parking was plentiful in the city, so we completed parking without difficulty. Because this day was Sunday, the charge is free if it is on the street.

While we were eating, we finally got word of the AF276 flight cancellation…

First of all, I was very hungry, so I decided to go hungry.

Le Cabanonというレストランです。

The restaurant is moderately large and very nice.

The guests were me and one group of about 8 people. It was empty.

What we had was the lunch menu for that day. I had a salad with bacon and chèvre as a starter. It was so delicious.

The main course was grilled beef, although the picture isn’t very good. The ingredients are great and the grill is perfect. This restaurant is of a high standard!

The dessert was also delicious. Oops, I lost track of what it was…. I’m sorry.

TripAdvisor rating, as expected. We had a great lunch, and it was supposed to be a great lunch.



I had no choice but to enjoy the sights.

Since there was no way to move here, I decided to give up and enjoy sightseeing. To tell you the truth, I was anxious because I couldn’t go to the office (I was supposed to arrive at Narita at 8:30 in the morning, go to the office and go to the customer’s office).

But unfortunately, it started to rain. We headed for the basilique Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire, the symbol of this city.

This is a relatively new basilica, built in 1889 to commemorate the apparition of Our Lady on February 11, 1858 (according to the Catholic Church).

Being a relatively new church, the interior was very sparkling and clean.

In the middle, there is a candlestick with water flowing all the time. or something like that. I wonder if this is the Lourdes Fountain.

And the most impressive one was the mosaic room in the back area. It was the one in which the stories of the Bible were depicted in order. It was very beautiful and impressive.

There was a description of the scene (but only the title) in various languages.

If you know what the Bible says, the mosaic and this title will give you some idea of what it depicts.

Visit Pau, where the founder of the Bourbon dynasty, Henri IV, was born.

Next, we went to Pau, which is about an hour away from Lourdes. This is an old town that has been in existence since the Middle Ages, and Pau Castle, the symbol of the town, is particularly famous as the birthplace of Henri IV, the founder of the French Bourbon dynasty.

Poe Castle is located in the center of town. We parked our car in a large parking lot about a minute’s walk away from the center (free because it was Sunday) and headed for the castle as soon as possible.

The form is small but well-proportioned and beautiful.

You can visit the inside with a guided tour. I was forced to take the French guided tour, though there was probably English one. I didn’t understand what the guide was saying, but she was beautiful, so it was okay.

However, we were able to get a pamphlet written in Japanese, so we were able to listen to the guide’s story while looking at this pamphlet.

To be honest, it was hard to be held for almost an hour even though the story was long and it wasn’t a big one, but the inside was very beautiful. The king’s bedchamber, the minister’s anteroom, and so on…well, I guess the structure is roughly the same as castles all over Europe.

I have seen this kind of decoration in many places in Europe, but what impressed me most about Pau Castle was the beauty and balance of the tapestries in many of the rooms.

I don’t usually get gutted by tapestries, but this one from the castle was different. I felt something special about it.

Now, after a somewhat long and tiring guided tour, we took a short walk around the castle, i.e. in the center of the city.

It’s Sunday, so most of the shops are closed. There are only a few souvenir shops and cafes open.

It was quiet because it was Sunday, but this place has a great atmosphere. And there are many restaurants. It has a lot of history, and because this area is in the southwest of France, there are a lot of delicious foods. It’s definitely a town that I wouldn’t mind visiting and staying in again.

Stay the night near Bordeaux airport.

After finishing the sightseeing, we will go back to Bordeaux. Initially I was going to stay in a small town about 50km south of Bordeaux, but because of the Air France strike, my flight on the 15th was early in the morning, so I changed my plan and decided to stay at a hotel about a minute by car from the airport.

By the time we arrived at the hotel at the airport, it was past 8 p.m. at dusk.

We were told that the restaurant in the hotel was not open because it was a chain hotel and it was a Sunday, so we decided to have dinner at a nearby chain restaurant which was only a few minutes away by car.

When I say restaurant, I mean a chain of steak shops. You can find these chains rather often in France. It was quite crowded, wasn’t it?

I don’t remember which one I ordered, but I got a regular beef steak, I think it was a little over 200g. The taste was okay.

I think it was easy to eat with not much fat.

After the meal, we went to the hotel.

Tomorrow, I’ll return the car, but I’ll just park it in the parking lot and return the key. However, I have to leave the hotel as soon as possible because there might be confusion due to the strike, or I have to secure my way to Japan somehow in the first place.

I told the front desk at the hotel that I wanted to check out around 5:00 just in case, and they said it would not be a problem since the reception is open 24 hours.

So, after taking a shower, I decided to go to bed early for tomorrow. Will I be able to go to Paris safely tomorrow, and will I be able to secure a ticket to Japan?


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