“What is Basque Country?” … Just in case anyone out there didn’t see this great introduction to visiting the Basque Country then check it it out here.
So the Basque Country “is basically paradise”? We couldn’t agree more!
*Image: Gaztelugatxe, Bizkaia, at dusk. Photo by Euskalduna, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
There’s somewhat of an end-of-term feeling around here and our thoughts have turned to the approaching summer, travels, and of course the beautiful Basque Country. And once again we will shamelessly borrow a video from our good friends at About Basque Country, this time one that showcases the amazing Kakueta Gorge.
We did already write about this landmark site in a previous post but we also think it’s well worth revisiting one of the truly remarkable spots in the Basque Country, a little piece of Amazonia in Xiberoa/Zuberoa!
This also got us to thinking about other interesting or emblematic sites … especially those off the beaten track somewhat. So if you have any suggestions why not let us know? We’d be happy to share your thoughts!
Check out this beautifully shot short video that spotlights the landscapes, cityscapes, and people of the Basque Country. In the makers’ own words, “this film is a collections of sights and sounds from our experience in the Basque Country! Enjoy the ride and go to Euskadi! It’s magic!” We couldn’t agree more!
Filmed and edited: Jeffrey Alex Attoh • instagram.com/jeffreybigdeal
Drone and timelapse: Andrea De Luca • instagram.com/ghost_grammer
Production assistant: Andrea Valotti
Ernest Hemingway (seated left) in 1925 with the persons depicted in the novel The Sun Also Rises. The individuals depicted include Hemingway, Harold Loeb, Lady Duff Twysden; and Hadley Richardson, Ogden Stewart and Pat Guthrie. Original caption is “Ernest Hemingway with Lady Duff Twysden, Hadley Hemingway, Lonnie Schutte and three unidentified people at a cafe in Pamplona, Spain, during the Fiesta of San Fermin in July 1925.” Ernest Hemingway Collection, John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston, MA. In Public Domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Ernest Hemingway’s classic The Sun Also Rises, a work infused with references to the Basque Country and Basque culture, was first published on October 22, 1926. To celebrate this 90th anniversary, a new book has just been presented that celebrates Hemingway’s well-known love of all things gastronomic. The trilingual Comer con/Eat with/Manger avec Hemingway, by Javier Muñoz, traces Hemingway’s steps as portrayed in the autobiographical The Sun Also Rises. It serves as a tourist guide to the places Hemingway visited and includes 128 recipes of the local cuisine he tasted by 52 chefs from the Basque Country, Aragón, and La Rioja. Check out a brief report on the book presentation (in Spanish) below:
To find out more about the book click here: http://eatwithhemingway.com/
Marko and Alex Ayling, vagabonds and brothers known online as the Vagabrothers, are two award-winning travel videographers, photographers, and writers. Since 2014 they have hosted their own YouTube show, Vagabrothers, which releases new travel videos every Tuesday. They were recently nominated among the “top 100 most influential travel bloggers worldwide” by the U.S. White House summit on global citizenship and cultural exchange.
They’ve already visited the Basque Country before (see the full list of Basque videos here), but check out these new videos, which offer a great outside take on the Basques, their land and their culture:
There was a reported sighting of a rare brown bear near the village of Garde in the Erronkari/Roncal Valley of Nafarroa on August 6. Experts have confirmed it could be a male named Neré, born in 1997 to one of the Slovenian brown bears, Melba, introduced into the Central Pyrenees in 1996. This was part of a controlled program to repopulate the Pyrenees with Slovenian brown bears, genetically similar to the autochthonous but by then extinct Pyrenean bear (the last surviving wild bears in Western Europe). Neré has been recorded in this more western part of the Pyrenees since 2000.
That said, the presence of brown bears in the Western Pyrenees remains limited, with only two recorded sightings, that of Neré and another male named Canelito. Their numbers are stronger, however, in the Central Pyrenees at around forty. In Nafarroa these sightings have been recorded in the area around the villages Garde and Urzainki, and Mount Ezkaurre.
As noted, the reintroduction of these bears has been part of a coordinated program on both sides of the Pyrenees among different public administrations. It is hoped that the program will encourage so-called green or nature tourism. Should the bears attack any livestock in the area the Government of Nafarroa will recompense local farmers for any losses incurred.
Read more on the brown bear in the Erronkari/Roncal Valley here.
For those of you who may be lucky enough to get to visit the Basque Country sometime, we thought we’d share a few of our favorite places with you.
The Chateau-Observatory Abbadia is an enchanting castle-like building just outside the town of Hendaia (Hendaye). It was built between 1864 and 1884 for Antoine Abbadie Thompson (1810-1897), a half-Basque, half-Irish ethnologist, geographer, astronomer, traveler, polymath, Basque cultural activist, and all round Renaissance man. While his global trekking through Asia and Africa constitutes a whole story in itself, with many souvenirs of these wanderings adorning the building, in the world of Basque Studies he is mostly known as a patron of the Basque language and culture in the mid and late nineteenth century.
For a short biography of Abbadie and a sample text of his writing, see Juan Madariaga Orbea’s epic study, spanning several centuries, of all those people who either raged against or rallied to the cause of the Basque language and its culture: Anthology of Apologists and Detractors of the Basque Language.