Tuesday, November 16, 2010

basque country: san sebastian, spain; saint-jean-de-luz, france

the basque country is a border straddling area of france and spain.  the ancestral language of the basque people, euskara, is still spoken by many basques.  euskara is the only remaining pre-indo-european language in western europe, making it one of the oldest spoken languages in europe.
we took the train to the coastal town of san sebastian, spain for a few days and then spent a night in saint-jean-de-luz, france before heading off to carcassonne.

we stayed in an awesome rooming house in the heart of old town

eusko pilota is considered the "national" sport of basque country and is taught to children starting at a very young age and even played professionally by adults.  this was the view from our window.

view from urgull hill

this 12 metre jesus was erected in 1950 to top the hill and welcome visitors to the town

most people don't eat dinner in san sebastian until around 9:00 pm

pinxtos (basque tapas) are served in nearly every bar throughout the evening.  these delicious small bites are set out on the bar for people to help themselves.  most bargoers eat one or two pinxtos (between 1 and 2 euros each) and then move on to the next bar for a drink and a few more bites.

toms tan lines

ocean lifeguard training

the beach was lined with children's sand soccer games (a popular organized sport in the cooler months)

this one is for kelley.  spicy enough for you?
chocolate croissant that would blow your mind (between the two of us, we may or may not have eaten 5 of these in 2 days) 

there is a popular surf beach in san sebastian but we didn't really see any decent waves in the time it took us to drink a bottle of wine while laying in the sand

from san sebastian it is a short train ride across the border to the tiny french town of saint-jean-de-luz

les simpsons
saint-jean-de-luz is a small beach town that is reportedly packed during the summer months but was  pretty much a ghost town while we were visiting
l'eglise saint-jean-baptiste was the wedding site of king louis XIV and the infanta of spain to seal a fragile peace between spain and france.  a pretty big claim to fame for a pretty small town.

the church displays the bones and numerous skulls of saints as holy relics

No comments:

Post a Comment