One of the things that I found funniest about visiting the French part of Basque Country during my stay in San Sebastian was how quickly things change from Spanish to French in just a quick drive, one that is not even encumbered by any official border-crossing or passport-checking. Not just the language, but little details of the culture change as you pass from one town to the next. I imagine it must be a little strange to live so close to a border, with the seemingly arbitrary differences in your way of life from the next village a few kilometers away.
Pastel vasco becomes gateaux basque, and the main items on the menus change from tapas and paella to croque madame, which is exactly what I had for lunch sitting outside at a bistro in Saint Jean de Luz’s central square. With the Dr. Seuss-like trees and the Hotel de Ville (sign in both French and Basque languages), it was not a bad view to take in while enjoying the meal and absorbing the little interlude of Frenchness in a Spanish vacation.
check out my other post on Saint Jean de Luz here