All posts tagged: pais vasco

| Pintxo Challenge, Act 1 Scene 1|

It’s already been 5 days into my challenge and I’ve stuck to it (like I’d give up the chance to eat pintxos in the name of writing, really?) I’ve strolled around my new barrio — the old part — and popped into one new bar a day experiencing what this small city offers. I’ve decided I’m going to update my challenge every 5 days as not to bore everyone with a post a day (plus, I’d probably forget) . . . At the end of my challenge I’ll write one conclusive article with tips and photos of my overall experience — so keep tuned! As for the first go . . . here it is. Eat it up! Day 1: Casa Tiburcio | Calle Fermin Cabelton — Fried Muscle (fried seafood, spicy, & hot!) A fairly typical bar to stroll into for the Old Part. Options on the bar, but the menu is where the gold is! Take a peek and be pleasantly surprised. Day 2: Zeruko | Calle Pescaderia — Squid Mango Foie  A new take on the …

|in a land of pintxos |

It occurred to me today that I need a summer project as I was sipping on a cana con limon in the Plaza de Constitucion and discussing food with a fellow American. I’ve decided to make my focus: pintxos. Living in the North of Spain one is highly aware of the large amount of pintxo bars (and bars in general) throughout the food capital and Capital of Culture 2016. San Sebastian is home to the famous pintxo and hundreds of bar owners and chefs offering traditional to very modern choices. A pintxo is an individual portion of meats, cheeses, fish, veggies, etc., skewered with a toothpick onto a piece of baguette. Of course, pintxos can vary from bar to bar and in the different regions of the North leading me to my decided project for the month of July: 30 Day Pintxo Challenge Inspired by my appreciation of  tasty food, desire to write, and love of photography and challenges — I’ve decided to dedicate the month of July to pintxos. As my budget is low – I’ll stick to one new pintxo …

| a girl who inspires |

The circumstances of how I met her are complicated, but unimportant. I met her. I met a woman who pushed me to find the work I enjoy; the work I want to pursue. She isn’t much older than I am, but her circumstances and story are so much different. She’s an inspiration without even knowing it. Her name is Tran. She’s Cambodian.  And she’s a feminist. She was lucky to come from a family who valued her mind, who sent her to school to learn and educate herself. She’s now in Barcelona studying a Masters and working hard to promote women’s rights in her home country. Her story and her motivation reminded me of my  desire to help others — particularly women — in less fortunate situations. She reminded me of a class I took my 4th year of university; a Women’s Rights class that struck a chord deep inside that I’ve put aside, but haven’t forgotten about. She reminded me of my purpose here on this earth. Although now isn’t my time to go …

| just a casual friday night witch burning |

It started with a witch burning and ended on the 5:40 AM train back to San Sebastian. This was my Friday night. – – – – – – – – – – – Starting from May till the end of September every pueblo (little town) has it’s fiesta weekends. Last weekend it was in Beasain. Our friend Nicole lives out in these parts, so Gemma and I ventured out to the small town to partake in their weekend celebrations. Talk of witch burning and bar hopping had our ears perked and we soon arrived ready to take part. We dropped our things off at Nic’s, ate dinner, and meandered down to the town center. It was 10:30 and the crowds had gathered: young and old alike. The drums sounded and the “witch children” started coming into town — ready with torches. The story goes: Once upon a time there was a witch who lived in the mountains. She came into town and fell in love with one of the Beasin men — so they married and he …

| the basque and the block party |

Sure, city festivals take place around the world. Sure, I haven’t been to a huge lot of them, but I certainly know that nothing I have experienced compares to Tamborrada in San Sebastian. Beginning months in advance, kids, adults, and teenagers (yes, it’s cool) meet weekly to practice the routines, the sheet music, and prepare for 24-hours of drumming. Yes, drumming. The ceremony begins at midnight on the 19th of January and lasts 24 hours. Of course there’s just enough time to rest between the opening ceremony and the constant performances throughout the city the following day. As beautiful as this tradition is: costumes, music, sense of community – it’s loud. So, if you live near the center, don’t count on sleeping unless you’ve invested in some quality earplugs. As for the history of this tradition, it’s a bit spotty. Associated with the French occupancy of the Basque country, there are two costumes worn during La Tamborrada: soldiers and chefs. As the French soldiers began their charge into the city they played their drums assuring everyone knew of their presence. “One day as …