This article was translated by John R. Bopp

We’re thrilled.  The Guardian has again gone and written about the wonders of our nation for their (global) readership.  Sorrel Downer, an old friend of our blog thanks to her marvelous reports about us in this British daily was again at them helm this time.

We’re thrilled, because each of these articles in The Guardian places the best image of our country out for the world to see.  We always explain that this paper is among our group of favorite media outlets, not because they always speak well of us (that wouldn’t be right) but because they speak of us fairly and factually.

We’re also thrilled because their way of discussing the topic is original, and we’re sure it’s going to be a reader favorite: a trip along the Bay of Biscay and the southern edge of the Rioja Alavesa region, picnicking in some extraordinary locales, with local, traditional products.

Just this would’ve been enough to make us happy: but there’s still more!  This is because, since The Guardian is a serious media outlet, they make sure to state that this article was written with support from the Biscay government’s tourism office.  So why is this a good thing?  Well, it’s because we’ve found an article that doesn’t focus only on Biscay, but also gets into Araba next door.  We think the idea of getting together and collaborating is key.  Our institutions need to be aware that if we were able to “sell” our cultural, environmental, touristic, and culinary reality, as a whole, with no internal borders, we’d all come out on top.

For our institutions, this is a way of synergizing efforts and not missing out on any opportunities.  For us, in addition to all that, it’s an exceptional way to weave collaborations that strengthen the bonds in our country, as well as building a unified image of our country for the world (and for ourselves; we sure do need it).

And the play on words of the title, “Bilbao Baggings”, was not lost on us: Bilbo Baggins, the main Hobbit in the Tolkien saga.  We all know how interested the “halflings” were in the good life, and a huge table with long chats under a huge, leafy tree.  That’s why we got the impression that the author is suggesting to us that this trip would be worthy of the interest of a robust group of Hobbits.

In addition to that tale, there may be a lot more than just a semblance in the names, because it’s not unlikely that in Tolkien’s will, there was a connection, even though food didn’t play any role there.

The Guardian – 14/9/2018 – Gran Bretaña

Bilbao baggings: the ultimate picnic road trip

Price aside, eating at a one of the Basque country’s many Michelin-starred restaurants and sitting on a sea wall with a picnic have more in common than you’d imagine. The region’s greatest chefs – including Eneko Atxa, Elena Arzak, Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz, and Victor Arguinzoniz of Asador Etxebarri – all say the fertile land and seas, fresh produce, independent artisans (cheesemakers, winemakers, bakers), plus a culture with food at its heart, make for a transcendent gastronomic experience. It’s this holistic convergence that made Bilbao the destination of choice for the World’s 50 Best Restaurants event this summer.

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Fotografía: Basque it … ‘The independent artisans and a culture with food at its heart, make for a transcendent gastronomic experience.’ Photograph: Alamy and Getty Images composite

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