The Windows of Basque Country, France

Nestled in French Basque Country, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a fishing port and resort town just minutes away from France’s border with Spain. We book-ended our two-week stay in Bilbao, Spain with day and weekend trips to Bordeaux and Rioja Alavesa wine country, elegant Biarritz, France, and seaside Saint-Jean-de-Luz. When Shawn, his parents and I weren’t tempted by what wasContinue reading “The Windows of Basque Country, France”

Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum & its ‘Pet’ Exhibit, Puppy

Journey to Bilbao, Spain, and the city’s celebrated Guggenheim Museum, and you’ll no doubt find yourself charmed by the modern-art museum’s ‘pet’ exhibit, Puppy. The 12 meter-tall canine (about 40 feet), modeled after a West Highland White Terrier pup, is comprised of thousands of flowers. It stands guard in front of the shimmering Guggenheim Museum, whichContinue reading “Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum & its ‘Pet’ Exhibit, Puppy”

Where Tempranillo & Tradition Meet: A Wine Tour of Rioja Alavesa, Spain

As we motored through the Rioja Alavesa wine country in northern Spain, a golden landscape dotted with hilltop monasteries, sweeping vineyards, and walled towns with window boxes overflowing with red geraniums, I reflected on what we had absorbed that day. In a region famed for wine we’d enjoyed much wonderful vino, of course, but we alsoContinue reading “Where Tempranillo & Tradition Meet: A Wine Tour of Rioja Alavesa, Spain”

Basking in Bilbao’s Renaissance: A Walking Tour of the Basque City

As we passed Bilbao’s state-of-the art structures, juxtaposed with timeless buildings flashing Old World flair, I had a hard time imagining what the Basque Country’s largest city was like before the Guggenheim Museum sparked its economic renaissance in the late 1990s. Still new to Bilbao, I was also fascinated with what constituted a Basque identity – what makes the Basque people unique from others in Spain.Continue reading “Basking in Bilbao’s Renaissance: A Walking Tour of the Basque City”

The Pintxos of Basque Country – Spain

In Spain’s Basque Country, pintxos – a finger food similar to tapas, are ubiquitous fare in small bars. Pincho (the Spanish version of the name) or pintxos (Basque) means ‘spike’ and helps to distinguish this toothpick-adorned treat from its tapas cousins, which generally aren’t served with toothpicks. Go into a bar – especially in the late-afternoon hours – and you’llContinue reading “The Pintxos of Basque Country – Spain”