Hola mes amis (Fran-spagnol?)
Ce week-end I visited the les pays Basque (France) and San Sebastian (Spain). I’ve been back since Sunday and I’m still pooped. My USAC group took a bus first to St. Jean Pied de Port and it was super pretty. For those of you that don’t know, the basque region is half in France and half in Spain. It’s a region that has its own language and nobody really knows it’s origins. The language is nothing like Spanish or French either. You’ll see signs and not even be able to guess what it means because the words are so bizzare.
In St. Jean Pied de Port we went up this steep hill and explored a little fortress. It was a great view from up there, and we could see all of the red and white basque houses. Apres our little hike we took our bus to the more important stop, the restaurant for lunch. In typical USAC excursion fashion, the food was wonderful. We started with a salad with some duck on it and green beans and bread, followed by a traditional basque dish which happened to have the same exact flavor of italian beef. I was all about it. Also, something I noticed is that at the restaurant there is a salt shaker, pepper shaker, and a ‘piment’ shaker. Piment is a spice, but as I’ve nothing is actually spicy in France. It just adds some flavor. But before we began eating I was informed we would be eating traditional basque cake.
Now with the italian beef like meal that I had just eaten, when someone says cake I obviously envision portillo’s chocolate cake. But I have to remember that the French throw the word “cake” around pretty loosely. Like, if there is no frosting or actual cake substance involved, it isn’t a cake. If there is pie crust involved, it is OBVIOUSLY a tart or pie. So even though I was half disappointed when I started to mange on the basque “cake,” it was actually wonderful and had some almond cream filling on the insiiiide. Nom.
Our next stop was Biarritz. It’s a ritzy little town where I’m told that lots of celebs go on vacay. There is a beautiful beach, but while we were there it was of course snowing. I was only there for a little bit though, because we had to catch our train to Spain!
We got into San Sebastian around 7 and it was really great. In Pau, at 7 there are like, a few restaurants open and barely anyone out and about. It’s almost deserted looking by 8. But I’ve been told great things about the nightlife before. We went out for dinner around 10:30 and experienced tapas! It was actually really difficult though. If you’ve read one of my first posts, I mentioned how nerve wracking it was to order in French, when I speak the language. Asking how to go about ordering/choosing tapas was like 30x worse. But once I was eating I was obviously happy. I even tried octopus. YEAH.
After that we ventured out to find a bar and some Spaniards who spoke English. One out of two happened. We found this sweet bar (literally, the bartender gave me a lot of gummy candies), and three beautiful men walked in. Upon second glance, my friend noticed they were speaking french. Score. Upon meeting them, we learned that they also live in Pau. What? Oh and they also weren’t lying. Really.
But in all seriousness, they were cool and took us to this awesome club on the beach. It was multiple floors and you could literally just look out these huge windows at the ocean. Probably one of the coolest places I’ve ever been inside of. Something you’d see in the movies! However, when in Spain do as the Spanish do. Meaning we didn’t get back to our hotel until 5:30am. So Sunday we were all exhausted. We got some breakfast, some ice cream, walked around, and went to the ocean. It was beautiful but we sadly didn’t last very long. I really hope/ think I will visit there again, considering it is only a two hour train ride away! Si si si!