Monday, May 26, 2014

Au revoir, France; bienvenidos a Espana

We spent a lovely afternoon in Biarritz, France yesterday. This charming beach town is a top surfing destination in Europe, and it was obvious why. The beach and shoreline were absolutely beautiful, and the waves were dotted with surfers, even on a chilly day. Since we only spent one day in France, we had a lot on our to-do list. First stop was crepes, which we ate at a square overlooking the beach. After a walk along the shoreline, we went back into town to buy chocolates. The delicious chocolatey aroma in the little shop made my mouth water, and the chocolates were so good that we went back for more this morning before we left town. 
After the chocolate stop, we wandered through the streets in the central shopping area, enjoying the picturesque European style of the town. Ironically, we decided to have dinner at an Italian restaurant. It seemed like a safe choice since we couldn't read the French menus, and we didn't want to end up with a plate of goose liver or frogs legs by accident. We made a good choice and enjoyed our delicious dinner of brick oven pizza and house made ravioli, topped off with tiramisu and coffee. 
We finished off our French mini-tour this morning before our noontime bus to Spain. Croissants were on the menu for breakfast, then we made our extra chocolate stop. We couldn't leave France without a fresh baguette, so we dropped by a boulangerie to get one for the road. Then we were off for the short ride across  the border to Spain. 

Nothing says "welcome to Spain" like cafe con leche and tortilla! Our bus made a 30 minute stop in San Sebastian before  going on to our destination in Bilbao, so we used the time for a snack. We arrived in Bilbao for a warm welcome from my host mother Begona, who I have stayed in touch with since I studied abroad here. I was surprised to see that this time, her dog had a broken foot! We settled into her home and visited with her for a bit before an evening out in the city. Now it's time for pintxos - the small bites of various types of food famous here in Basque Country!

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