This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We first met J.C. Reid at the beginning of 2013 thanks to his amazing article on Bilbao on his blog which we found fascinating.  Now, we’ve “rediscovered” this architect from Beaumont, Texas thanks to a compelling series of articles on San Sebastian, which will consist of ten entries.

As an introduction to this series, he’s written an explanatory entry giving the reasons that have brought him to “embark” on this adventure, which goes far beyond the 8,000 words he’s writing down.

Monte Urgull, La Concha Bay
Monte Urgull, La Concha Bay

This introductory entry, titled “The San Sebastian Chronicles,” seems to really be a declaration of love and passion for a country, and its culture, food, and people.  It’s a chronicle of a discovery of a land unknown to him, of a discovery of a city, San Sebastian, which has left a profound mark on him.  This happened in 2012, and this attraction led him to look into and get to know better this place on the eastern edge of the Bay of Biscay.

He came back in 2014, wanting to get to know the city, its people, its food, and its traditions better.  He continued researching and discovering.  From that long journey that was begun in October of 2012 was born “The San Sebastian Chronicles” that we’re talking about today.

As of this writing, not all the entries are published.  The latest installment is about the origin of the Basques, from the Basque Refuge that it seems the departed from, at the end of the last ice age, becoming some of the first colonizers of Europe.  Some of the theories about all this, for those who are interested, are collected here.  

But we just couldn’t wait for all the entries to be published.  We felt this irresistible urge to make this chronicle known and couldn’t wait any longer, so that you can discover the entries as J.C. Reid publishes them.

So now we’ll leave you with the introductory article and a link to the first four entries.  We’ll update this entry as new entries are published so you can enjoy all this amazing work.

Nevertheless, we can’t help but make three comments about J. C. Reid.

The first is an explanation.  In the struggle to maintain the freedom and identity of the Basques, the ETA is nothing more than a sad (and bloody) anecdote.  Fortunately for the Basques and their Cause, the defense of who we are has never depended on them.  It’s been the work of tens of thousands of men and women who have, with humility, commitment, and respect for human rights, managed to keep this people alive.

Secondly, San Sebastian has never been “a dark corner of Spain”.  We understand that the headline is an attempt to highlight the enormous projections this “midsize European city” has.  But this Basque city has, throughout its history, never been “a dark corner”.  In reality, what’s extraordinary is the ability to influence and transform that the people of a land as small as the Basques’ has had throughout the all corners of the world through history.

Finally, we’d like to thank you, for your effort in getting the word about the Basques out there, for your love for our land, and for wanting to share who we are.  We Basques are a small people who’ve had an extraordinary level of participation in History.  But we’re a people who needs their authentic image to be shared, so it can surprass the image others have tried to create for us.  That’s why we need many J.C. Reids out there who tell the truth.  We often speak of people we consider to be Friends of the Basques, and we’re very happy to count J.C. Reid among them.

Eskerrik asko

JC Reid – 2/10/2016 – USA

The San Sebastián Chronicles

It all started in October 2012 when my wife Tamara and I visited friends at a vacation house near Ventorros de San José outside of Granada, Spain. We decided that we’d spend a few extra days in Spain after that visit was over, and we started looking for possible destinations. I’d spent quite a bit of time in the usual places like Madrid and Barcelona, so we looked at some alternate possibilities.

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JC Reid – 10/2016 – USA

San Sebastián

If you’re ever in the company of well-traveled friends and want to stir up some debate, you might ask the question, “What’s the world’s greatest food city?” There will be a contingent partial to the great cities of Asia – insisting that the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore and Saigon are all worthy contenders, all excellent suggestions based on the dizzying, delicious array of street foods available in those cities.

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JC Reid – 10/2016 – USA

Cider

The story of how an obscure region of southern Europe became the gastronomic capital of the world encompasses many factors: political, economic, cultural, geographic, and even genetic factors have played a part. It’s a story that spans literally thousands of years – from the prehistoric settlers to Roman conquerors; from the volatile history of Spain from the middle ages all the way through the Spanish Civil War and the haphazard creation of the nation that we know today.

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JC Reid – 10/2016 – USA

Txikiteo

One of the more curious urban rituals found throughout the world is the evening stroll. Citizens of a town or city appear in the main square or street, some dressed to the nines, slowly strolling and people-watching, exchanging gossip and participating in other activities specific to a region or culture. In Victorian England, the promenade allowed men and women of means to show off both status and fashion. The French flâneur of the 19th century embodied the image of the idle intellectual/artist, strolling the streets of Paris to chronicle the experiences of modern life.

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JC Reid – 10/2016 – USA

The Basques

La colonización de Gran Bretaña de los "protovascos" tras la última glaciación
La colonización de Gran Bretaña de los “protovascos” tras la última glaciación

The origins of the Basque people and language are in dispute. In fact, according to some conventional theories, the ancestors of the Basques are the ones who repopulated much of Western Europe after the last Ice Age.

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