One of the goals of this trip is to sense the differences or similarities between Europe… understand what makes us Europeans and what make us different, as people. Are we actually a union of cultures? Or are we an European economic union where only a few benefit at the expense of the other poor and less educated countries? Anyways, this is a subject for another BIG post 🙂 . I found it very interesting that within Europe, there are hidden cultures with rich and vibrant traditions, one that caught my eye, was the Basque country. Yes, as far as I´m concerned they´re a country, despite beeing included in Spain… the French side I found to be a bit different. From their language widely spoken between youngsters to the elders, to the music and folklore, shown on the streets of the cities with great pride and passed to the younger generations who embrace it and show it proudly, to the food, the architecture even the signs written in a peculiar font in this region I had the feeling of being in another country even though the map said that I was in Spain. On the French side I felt that the French culture absorbed the Basque, even if the houses and the signs where similar the language was not spoken on the streets, it was clear that we were in France.
It´s a very multicultural environment with loads of children wandering around and playing on the streets. A very prosperous and safe region that seems to attract people from other less developed parts of the world, from Africa to South America… some honestly, others dodging the system, loads of nationalities come here trying for a better life.
The food is amazing! The Basque cuisine is known worldwide, you can find several Michelin star restaurants here and the “going to the pintxos” is the start of a good night where you nibble on a variety of mini open sandwiches and have a few drinks after a working day.