By Nancy Todd
I could not pronounce the town name: Hondarribia. Offering expert advice on Spain, I should be able to pronounce Hondarribia. I stayed three days and mumbled something close when I left. Whether or not you can pronounce this unique Basque Country town name, and you are needing the peace of a small town in Northern Spain, this could be your place to kick back. Just go. You don’t need to know how to say it.
The city was tranquil off season but looking at the boats I knew it would be buzzing with vacationers in the summer. Many houses were shuttered and were seemingly summer homes.
This architecture is typical of what you see all over Basque Country. Low angled roofs, trim often painted red or green, wood balconies.
Hondarribia is a border town facing France that sits on a promontory over the large Txingudi Bay which feeds into the Atlantic Ocean. There is a medieval quarter as well as just your basic old neighborhood. Beaches are long and quieter than it’s famous neighbor San Sebastian, a half hour away.
Yes, it rains a lot in Basque Country. The people are robust, friendly, and love to linger over food.
The Basque language is spoken as well as Spanish. There is an ease to life in this comfortable town. No one walks fast and people love to hang out.
When driving, I could not remember the names of the towns, much less pronounce them. Luckily for the round a bouts, I just kept driving around and around until I saw the city names enough times to figure out my direction. Yes, I am language challenged.
Where have you traveled in Basque Country? Bilboa? Guernica?