Hear about travel to the Basque Region of Spain as the Amateur Traveler talks to David Bumstead about his adopted country and region.
David is originally from England but has lived in the Basque Country for 35 years. David says of this area of Northern Spain, “We are talking about [an area] on the border with France in the Northwest corner of Spain. It’s on the Bay of Biscay, near the Pyrenees. It’s a beautiful combination of all sorts of different things. It’s got the Pyrenees. It’s got 3-4 vibrant cities It’s got rolling hills. It’s got great food, great beaches, the highest concentration of Michelin star restaurants in the world per head of the population, a mixture of cultures as well.”
The Basque people are a different people with one of the original languages, one of the oldest languages in Spain. They are a culture that gave us such things as Jai alai and the beret.
We start with a tour of the major cities in the Basque region: San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria, and Pamplona.
David lives in San Sebastián which sits on the north coast of Spain on a beautiful crescent bay with a series of beautiful beaches. The area is quite green as it gets 3 times more rain in a year than it does in London. But if you don’t like the weather in San Sebastián “wait 5 minutes”. We talk about favorite beaches and hikes, pinchos and Basque wine.
In recent years the Guggenheim Bilbao designed by Frank Gerry helped not only put this formerly gritty industrial city on the map but helped transform it. “It was almost Dickensian when I first came here”, David says. Bilbao is just inland from the coast, with beach towns nearby.
We talk about the smaller capital of Vitoria as well as the better-known city of Pamplona where they do the running of the bulls.
We also stop at a small town with a memorial to the first navigator to circumnavigate the globe… who is not Magellan… but a Basque captain named Juan Sebastian Elcano who unlike Magellan survived the entire trip.
Hear about this green region of Spain with a different cultural mix from the rest of the country.
This episode is sponsored by the World Nomads Podcast
10 Reasons to Visit Basque Country
San Sebastian Film Festival
The Beach of La Concha
San Telmo Museoa
Basque Country Wines
San Sebastian Hills
San Mamés Stadium
Game of Thrones in the Basque Country
Guernica Museum of Peace
French Basque Country
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