This article was translated by John R. Bopp

Ruth Rieckehoff writes an interesting blog called Tanama Tales, about her many travels, which are accompanied by amazing photographs.  Thanks to these trips, she’s managed to visit 17% of the countries in the world.  One country she’s visited, even if it’s not on the list of official countries, is the Land of the Basques.  It’s not hard to discover why, when she visited us, she quickly learned that when you’re in the Basque Country, on one side of the Pyrenees or the other, you’re in a country with its own culture and way of life.

Her blog has five entries dedicated to her trips in our land, which we’re going to mention here.  This entry’s title comes from one of her entries, where a taxi driver in San Sebastian, when asked by Ms. Rieckehoff and her husband if the French border was very far away, said:

“I know what you’re referring to.  We’re about 20 km (15 mi) from the border.  But, in reality, France starts further away.  The place you are referring to is still the Basque Country.”

This response was enough to inspire them to visit the Basque Coast and discover, to themselves and their readers, the beauty of St-Jean-de-Luz.  This response from a Southern Basque to refer to the Northern Basque Country is the perfect complement to the response of a Northern Basque (from Ainhoa) to a British journalist when he talked about the Southern Basque Country: “No, not Spain.  It’s Basque.

Ruth Rieckehoff is part of that wide group of travelers who, when they visit our land, fall in love with it.  Fortunately for us, some of those visitors have blogs recounting their experiences.  After reading the comments for some of her entries about her time in our land, it’s not hard to see that these entries have brought up a lot of interest in her readers, some of whom, we’re sure, will decide to follow in her footsteps and visit our land.

We can’t help but ask her to come back and see us again–there’s so much to see and enjoy in our country.

Tanama Tales – 9/5/2016 – USA

Saint Jean de Luz: Pure Basque Charm

San Juan de Luz Tanama Tales
San Juan de Luz Tanama Tales

I suffer from the over planning syndrome.  Before visiting a place, I build a three pages list of things to do, see and eat.  Then, when I am in the actual place, I start to worry about not having time to complete the “magic” list. During the last couple of years, I have exercised some self-control and have been able to leave some wiggle room here and there on my final plans. On my last visit to Spain, we planned to move quite a bit between cities, in a two weeks period.  That is why I stopped the urge to fill the days with side trips and excursions.  “Let’s absorb the vibe of the city,” was the motto of the trip.

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Tanama Tales – 1/5/2016 – USA

Bilbao: A City Full of Surprises

Bilbao Tanama Tales
Bilbao Tanama Tales

In my post about the famous Guggenheim Bilbao, I admitted I wanted to visit the city only to take a look at the museum’s structure. But, I am glad this futuristic building was constructed to attract visitors (or attention) to Bilbao. I arrived to the city a grey Tuesday afternoon.  I was half dead from the six hours train trip from Barcelona (there are no high speed trains to the city).

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Tanama Tales – 4/4/2016 – USA

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao

Guggenheim Bilbao Tanama Tales
Guggenheim Bilbao Tanama Tales

I have to thank the Basque Country. Even though it is known for its cloudy and cold weather, it gave me the perfect moments of sunshine when I needed them the most. In reality, we spent most of our four days in there covered by thick fog and drizzle.  When all hope was lost, a perfect, bright day allowed me to contemplate the views from Mount Igueldo in San Sebastian.

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Tanama Tales – 7/3/2016 – USA

My Favorite Pintxos in San Sebastian

Pintxos Donostia Tanama Tales
Pintxos Donostia Tanama Tales

Spain has left a huge impression on me. I do not know where to start in order to describe what attracts me of the country.  It is a combination of things.  Architecture.  Big plazas.  Museums.  Atmosphere.  Culture. Night life.  Inhabitants.  The connection I feel to the country since it colonized the island I come from. Food is another aspect that made me fall in love with Spain.  To me, it feels great to walk around town while stopping to devour delicious morsels.

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Tanama Tales – 4/1/2016 – USA

San Sebastian seen from Mount Igueldo

Donostia Tanama Tales
Donostia Tanama Tales

I debated a lot while trying to decide what to write about this week. After all, it is the first week of a new year. I wanted to open the posting with something special. After putting some thinking into it, I decided to write about the highlight of my 2015 travels. There are places that you add to your travel schedule because you have read and heard great things about it.  However, after hours of research, you do not really know what to expect.

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