We arrived in Bilbao about a week ago and have been enjoying the outdoors as much as possible despite the unstable weather. There has been rain and wind, but also sunshine and blue skies.
The landscape is the greenest I have seen in a long time and flowers are almost in full bloom. Sometimes I forget how many different varieties of flowers I can find here everywhere I look. Small daisies or txiribitak as we call them are everywhere.
The Basque Country is a small wonderland of all as we have cities, industrial areas, mountains, peaks and the ocean all concentrated in a very small area. It literally only takes a half hour to drive from the top of a mountain to the nearest beach and back to the largest shopping area around.
One of my wishes is for my little one to experience nature as I did growing up. I know it is not as easy anymore as he is growing up in a different time and under different circumstances, but I really wanted to make this trip about that; about hiking, feeling mud, seeing animals in pastures, touching old artifacts, seeing two, three, four hundred year old buildings, picking wild berries and feeling the cold Atlantic water on his feet.
There are nature trails everywhere around here and we have been taking full advantage. We spent a day in the villages surrounding Anboto and Urkiola and even stopped at Asador Etxebarri just to take a peak, which was recently named 39 in the 50 best restaurants in the world and was also featured in Mario Batali’s show “Spain, on the road again”.
The term celebrity chef does not exist in the Basque Country as great chefs and restaurants can be found in the most unexpected and remote areas and that is such a great source of pride as I love to cook and also eat.
Just this morning, we took a day trip to Urdaibai, which UNESCO named a biosphere reserve in 1984.
The wind was still blowing cold, but the sky was blue and the kids played in the sand like there was no tomorrow. We then stopped at the local bar for some great tapas or pintxos as we call them here. Tortilla de patata, bacalao al pil-pil, pastel de txangurro… my mouth is watering just thinking about it again.
And this is just part of it. I still have lots of photos to sort through including Bilbao and San Sebastian. I wish you could visit as well. I will be back soon with more to share. Happy weekend!