Cafe Iruña, Bilbao: Pinchos Morunos
May22

Cafe Iruña, Bilbao: Pinchos Morunos

There’s a Basque saying that succinctly sums up the culture: Nola jan jakitea, nahikoa jakitea da. To know how to eat is to know enough. If you’ve ever been to Basque Country, or met a Basque person, chances are, you’ve discovered they’re super passionate about food. Everyone’s a foodie. Conversations about food come up regularly, and social gatherings aren’t complete without an array of pintxos (the Basque bigger-and-better...

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Bilbao (or as the locals say: El Centro del Mundo)
May16

Bilbao (or as the locals say: El Centro del Mundo)

There’s many reasons to love Bilbao. Some surrender themselves to the famous Basque cuisine served up all over town, while others are enchanted by the rolling green hills that surround the city or its brown-sugar sand beaches. I personally love Bilbao because in some ways it reminds me of Seattle with its moody weather, proud locals and abundant greenery…but with much, MUCH better public transportation. Seriously. The subway system in...

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Why Basque Country Needs to Be on Your Itinerary
May07

Why Basque Country Needs to Be on Your Itinerary

Playa La Concha in San Sebastián, Basque Country I often get e-mails from readers asking for my Spain travel advice. They give me a run-down of their itinerary and it always looks something like this: Madrid, Barcelona and somewhere in Andalucía (usually Sevilla or Granada). Once in awhile I might see a trip planned around a famous festival—like San Fermínes (The Running of the Bulls) in Pamplona or Tomatina in tiny Buñol, but usually...

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Where I Went in 2011
Dec20

Where I Went in 2011

As the year wraps up, I’m looking back on how amazing it’s been, and how lucky I feel to be enjoying these experiences. This year, though I added just one new country to my list, I added many new destinations and explored my adopted country even more thoroughly. January I started off 2011 fresh from a Christmas visit in my hometown of Seattle. I rang in the New Year in the gorgeous waterfront pueblo of Lekeitio in Basque Country and...

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The Places That Hooked Me in…
Sep28

The Places That Hooked Me in…

You know that moment when you’re in a new place, whether it be for a few hours or a few days and your pulse quickens a bit? When you glance around and your surroundings absolutely grab you? It may hit you unexpectedly—during an amazing al fresco meal, while strolling out on a balmy night, or watching the sun set. It may overwhelm your senses all at once. The relationship you can have with a new place is like love; you’re left wanting...

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