Crazy Basque

 

Basques are the only people who live or have land in two countries i.e. northern spain and southwest france. I was in Bilbao for a week living with the people of Bilbao/Basque and getting to know as much as i could in a week. I think the best way to know about a culture is getting to know the people themselves. The location is truly spectacular with ridges, coast, bay and mountain ranges.  The Basque language is one of the oldest European language with no written record until 19th century, also known as Euskara. Surprisingly, it is totally unrelated to Spanish language and have no common language family. Bilbao is the main city of Basque and walking through this small city of around a million people and over 6000 bars and cafes made me feel like walking in a dream or perhaps drunk wonderland. I think it would be right to call Basque a crazy, amazing region. Just imagine for a moment that they were the first ones to start commercial Whale and Cod hunting back in 11th century in the bay of basque and were out in the Atlantic by 16th century with boats made out of Wood.

There are 3 main languages in Spain; Catalan spoken in Catalnoia Province, Euskara in Basque and Spanish in rest of Spain. I am not sure if there are other languages as well. For now, here are words to say goodbye in 3 languages

Adios (Spanish); Adeo (Catalan); Agur (Euskara);

Few things about Basque apart from lots of parties.

ANGULAS O GULAS- Angulas the most expensive Basque cuisine mostly or only found in the bay of Basque. They are baby eels that cost around 1000 Euros per kg. The word Angulas was invented by the fine businessmen of Basque region and surprisingly it took the other Spanish regions around a century discover this incredible cuisine. And yes, I am sure most of the travellers wont spend 1000 euros to eat a particular type of sea food. So for them there is an alternative or rather a duplicate of this fish known as Gulas that are pretty cheap to buy and you can get them for 3-4 Euros per 150 grams. But most of the people describe the taste being almost similar.

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BILBAO TILE – There is also unique thing about the sidewalk pattern of Bilbao which was invented in Bilbao to meet the needs of rainy days in Bilbao. Its now been exported in all over the world and is the representative image and the symbol of bilbao.

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Basque Tattoo- I also saw a similar tattoo on the hands of a few old people that I came across which I think may have many meanings. But one man told me that four dots describe the four walls and center dot describes a man stuck in between these walls during the hard times in Basque. Usually, it was symbol for all the people who went to jail for a political issue between Basque people and rest of Spain.

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But i am gonna bring more interesting details about BASQUE in late 2017. So wait for it!DSC_6440

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Categories: Europe and Study Abroad, Food, Travel and Adventure

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