Friday, June 10, 2011

Chapter 2: Euskadi

For the past few days we have been eating our way through the Basque Country. From Braga we caught a bus to Vigo on the Atlantic coast where we rented a car and drove across northern Spain to the Basque capital of Vitoria. On the way we stopped and swam at a mystery lake and ate hamburgers that turned out to be a literal interpretation with pieces of ham on a burger bun instead of ground beef.... We also saw a tribute on the local news to a species of plant, broom, that I spent two years of my life trying to kill on Mount Tamalpais. They love it in Spain. Go figure.

In Basque country we visited Vitoria, Bilbao, and San Sebastian. Our day in Vitoria was sort of depressing, mostly due to the weather but also partly due to the town itself. Bilbao was much more exciting the next day where we admired the Guggenheim and ate pintxos (or tapas) at sidewalk cafes. We returned the rental car and were picked up by our colleague, a Spanish professor who lives in Vitoria. She drove us to San Sebastian where we sampled more and more pintxos.

The next day the weather was bad again and the beautiful beaches in SS teased us. We saw from the postcards how awesome the beach could have been. The weather finally improved around 6pm, so I threw on my swimsuit and jumped in the ocean, then laid on the beach for five minutes before the sun went back behind the clouds.

 Last night we ate our last pintxo with our two travel companions who went on ahead to Madrid and France. My classmate and I spent yesterday walking around SS, eating a few more pintxos. Then we caught a bus to France to begin Chapter 3 of our journey.

Favorite pintxos:
Fresh anchovies with garlic
Squid in ink
Fried peppers from Guernica
Exploding eggs wrapped in potato wafers
Duck magrit
Mushroom risotto

Mmmm... now I am hungry.

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