Day 13: Sept, 23
Ongietorria (Welcome) to Basque, Spain
It was an early 3 AM departure to Geneva airport to embark on our last leg of our tour, to Basque region in Spain. Ground work of printing boarding passes and e check in was ably done by Chef Gopal Jha, the previous day.
It was around 250 km by road to Geneva and our flight to Biarritz in France was at 830 AM and hence the early morning departure.
Courtesy Google Maps
We flew across France and after a short immigration procedure we were received by Mr.Andoni Catalán Salsamendi and were off to Hondarribia across the border in Spain. This part of the unique region of Spain and is called Basque Country and is an autonomous region with in Spain . It is also economically forward as the average per capita income is higher than European Union and Spain. The culture and Cuisine of the Basque region is also unique. This part of the tour was coordinated and supported by Salva – one of the leading companies in the world known for their Bakery ovens and other equipment. The Lunch was at our place of stay Hotel Jauregui.
Lunch at Hotel Jauregui
The evening at Hondarribia was at the square behind the hotel where in we experienced Pintxos gastronomy in famous bars like the “Gran Sol”, “Senra” and “Ardoka” . A few words about Pintxos- or called Pinchos is a snack where filling are usually placed on bite sized bread and can be picked up with a tooth pick.
The significance is that it has a socializing quotient, where in people gather in the bars and catch a conversation and enjoy Pintxos.
Pintxos- Photo Courtesy Rana Domnic Gomes
The chefs in company of Sandeep Chanana of Salva got in to the socializing act over Pintxos and a local band was at attendance at the square adding up to atmosphere.
Photo Courtesy Vikram Cotah
One has to mention the pleasant weather at Hondarribia; we could finally keep our jackets in the hotel room and venture out in our T shirts after two weeks in Europe. The Pintxos had its effect as we were filled up to the brim and time to retire and look forward to the next day.