After a romp through Catalonia and the Basque country Jona and I have returned to what can only be described as the heart of the British summer (read a grey and rainy England). It was an amazing trip full of sun and sand and bulls! Let’s recount.
So technically we spent our holiday in France and Spain but culturally we were exclusively in Catalonia and the Basque country, starting in the Basque city of Bilbao and ending in Barcelona.
In Bilbao we were hosted by a wonderful couchsurfer who not only put up with me rediscovering how to speak Spanish but took us out to show what Basque night life is all about – drinking kalimotxo on the street until the early hours of the morning. For those of you haven’t had the pleasure, kalimotxo is a mixture of cheap red wine and coke and tastes about as good as it sounds. When not hanging out with our host Jona and I explored the city and went to the Guggenheim museum (sister to the one in new york city).
From Bilbao Jona and I headed out to Pamplona for the Sanfermines! We stayed in an awesome apartment in the old part of the city so we had a brief stumble to watch the bull run in the morning and could be escorted home by local marching bands in the evening. As well as lots of music and parties the San Fermin festival is of course famous for it’s bull run. Neither of us actually ran with the bulls (take a deep sigh of relief parents) but we did wake up before 7 in the morning to go and see it which is a feat in itself.
Now although we didn’t run with the real bulls we did run with the potentially more treacherous firework bull! Jona even has the burns in his fleece jacket to prove it.
After three days of fiesta and festival Jona and I were in serious need of rest and luckily that’s what we found in Saint Jean de Luz, the home of my lovely housemate Claire. We spent a lovely 3 days climbing mountains, exploring old ports and most importantly feasting on french cheese and bread. delicious.
From Saint Jean de Luz we moved onto out final destination: Barcelona. We only had two days to explore an amazing city so it was a bit of an exhausting adventure, but it was all beautiful. We explored the old city, Gaudi’s beautiful church and buildings, and even got a little beach time in on the last day. Top that off with beers, tapas and a swim in the Mediterranean and you have yourself the perfect end to a wonderful vacation.
p.s. sorry for the lack of pictures! Jona was the photographer for our trip – I’ll update when I get a my hands on some.