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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 12th 2019

We left Barcelona early on a stormy morning and caught a fast Renfe train to San Sebastian in Basque country, all the way across the other side of the country on the west coast. 5 and a half hours later we were in San Sebastian or Donostia in Basque language. The Basque language, we quickly learned, is vastly different to any language we've heard and we learned that no-one actually knows the origins of the language though we were later told there was a study to find out the linguistic origins of the Basque language and it was established that it's the closest language to the caveman surprisingly. But everyone speaks Spanish of course, and really I only heard Spanish around me, even bar staff speaking amongst themselves spoke Spanish so I'm not sure of the ... read more
Truffled rice with foie
Squid with 3 sauces
Pinxtos bar

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Bilbao August 24th 2019

Friday I left my cousin Sean and had an uneventful drive to Bilbao - except when I had to stop at tolls I had to get out of the car to pay as Sue wasn’t with me and I was of course on the wrong side of the car! The Airbnb I had booked was 25 minute walk downhill to the centre of Bilbao, which of course meant it was the same going uphill. At least I would be getting some exercise! First night I went down and met Ian (Sue’s brother) and his wife Joli in the old town and Ian took us on a tour of the best bars with pinchos, the Basque form of tapas but smaller, on bread and skewered with a cocktail stick - very nice. Next morning we arranged to ... read more
He’s behind you!
Guggenheim- Richard Serra
tulips

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 31st 2019

Things we’ve found through painful experience: In planning for the trip, we chose medium size luggage (to meet the airline limit of 23kg per bag (50 pounds). Our criterion for the bags was mainly weight. Why buy a bag that already weighs 11pounds when you could buy one weighing 9 1/2 pounds and give up two to the airlines? We settled on Swiss Army bags, slightly different models in different colors. They have compartments for small items as well as a waterproof bag for medications. They appeared strong enough, so we went with them. We’ve had them for some time now, but the work we are putting them through is starting to show. With 43 pounds of clothes in the bag and another strapped to the top, we have both struggled with train platforms and stairwells, ... read more
IMG_1940

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 25th 2019

Bonjour à tous, Hier au soir pour manger, je demande au réceptionniste, gracieux comme une porte de prison, il m'indique un resto, tout proche, à 20 minutes de marche, si non, il y a rien dans le coin, en sachant que je suis pratiquement en centre ville. Je pars, mais je n'ai pas l'intention de me faire encore 40 minutes de marche ce soir, je suis déjà à plus de 13km aujourd'hui. À 300 mètres je trouve une rue piétonne, où des bars à tapas il y en a sur 300 mètres, les terrasses sont pleines, plaisantes cette rue est pleine de vie. Je choisi une rotisserie, le menue me convient, la serveuse qui ne parle pas un mot de français, me suggère une spécialité Basque. Avant de me lancer, je demande des précisions. Ça spécialité, ... read more
Le Guggenheim
Maman Bilbao
Bermeo

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Bilbao July 24th 2019

Bonjour à tous, En France vous souffrez de la chaleur, je peux vous affirmer que cet après midi, dans les rues de Bilbao, moi aussi, et pourtant ce matin c'était encore très mal parti. Hier au soir à l'heure du souper, vers 22h, la pluie s'est mise à tomber, mais bien plus qu'un bon arrosage, en une fraction de seconde les terrasses se sont vidées. Dommage que ça ne soit pas arrivé la veille, la fiesta ne ce serait pas finie à 6 heures du matin. Ce matin, je pense que c'est dû à cette pluie mais tout est dans la brume, avec 22° ce doit être l'évaporation. Par contre les montagnes elles sont bien dans les nuages. Ça gâche pas mal tout ce décor, qui doit être magnifique par un beau soleil. Ces pics qui ... read more
Iglesia Santa Maria de la Asuncion
Bilbao plaza Frederico Moya
Ria de Bilbao

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián October 29th 2018

Left Haro Monday morning....very cold....and as soon as we drove a little way out of town could see snow on the small hills and that just got worse the closer we got to Bilbao, sleet, ice on the road and lots of snow. Wanted to go via Bilboa to see the Guggenheim and we were not disappointed, glad we made the detour there. The drive from Bilboa to San Sebastian was even hairier......a lot of the roads were covered in icy sludge and snow....quite slippery in parts but we finally limped into San Sebastian around 3.30pm. Our apartment is in the middle of the city.....a beautiful place...we cannot believe the value we are getting with our AirB&B choices...we are on the 6th Floor overlooking the city.....our host Andrea is just lovely....she tells me their whole family ... read more
HARO TO BILBOA
BILBOA TO SAN SEBASTIAN
BILBOA

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 27th 2018

Even 'though it is off season San Sebastian is a party town. Imagine South Bank, New years eve, with a surf beach and thousands of merry tourists. It was good fun, the sun shone a warm welcome, the surf wasn't the best and it was crowded but Carl rented a wet suit and enjoyed himself. The food was the best part. All day and most of the night hundreds of bars and restaurants offered Pintxos or Tapas. Sea Urchin was delicious. I felt I left no more personal foot prints on the lives of the people of San Sebastian than I left on the sands of its beaches. But it was fun. We went to the Guggenheim. What a fantastic building, such imagination and creativity shame most of the exhibits inside were a bit disappointing. MONA ... read more
Carl Surf
tapas 01
tapas 02

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián September 18th 2018

I really enjoyed my week at the Spanish school and I learned a lot. The entire week was spent on one of the four past tenses, the past perfect. That is an action is finished but the time period continues. e.g. This morning I ate breakfast, because the day is continuing it is a different past form. There is a picture of me with my graduation certificate. The AirBnB we stayed in for two weeks was a challenge. The room wasn't much larger than a good sized en suite bathroom. There was a closet, bookcase and display case but they were all chockers with the families stuff. We had no choice but to live out of our suitcases. If we wanted something from the suitcase, one of us had to sit on the bed or stand ... read more
manuel's family2
bravado
Bacchus and Ariadne Sebastiano Ricci

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Vitoria-Gasteiz August 19th 2018

After I left university in Germany I decided to spent the summer in Spain. Not having much money I thought it would be a good idea to find a job as an Au Pair, that way accommodation would be provided and I would make a little it of money, not to forget i could experience the Spanish life style from a local perspective. I was little prepared and spoke even less Spanish. I remember taking a beginner course at University, thought be a girl from Dominica who was really lovely, but since she could only speak Spanish and was not able to explain anything the only thing I picked up was the accent on the little words I learned. I applied for a few jobs all around Spain and accepted the first offer I received from ... read more
beer festival
Fiestas

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Vitoria-Gasteiz August 19th 2018

Almost every town in Spain seems to have their own Fiestas. You have the more known one like the Racing with the Bulls in Pamplona or La Tomatia in Valecia. In August 2009 I got to experience one of the lesser known festivals called La Blanca in Vitora Gasteiz. I had absolutely no idea what to expect. The only thing i knew was I had to be at the Virgen Blanca square by 6pm on August 4th with a bottle of cheap Bubbles, wearing an orange hat. I was hosting a Couchsurfer for a few days so we both went down to the Plaza which as 10 minute walk from my place to meet my friends. The Plaza was crowded with people and everyone was staring up towards the little church on the hill. At 6pm ... read more




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