Tag Archives: friends

Pintxo pote at Thursdays

Oh, I love Thursdays. On that day every week is a party with pintxos called pintxo pote. Pintxos mean snacks. They do it here so tasty that you can eat hundreds of them.  On Thursday everybody who wants can get 1 pintxo and a cup of vine for 1 euro. That’s why everybody goes out and drink till the morning after. Bars in BC are not the same as we are used to.

  • First, nobody sits where
  • Second, you can smoke inside (and not only cigarettes)
  • Third, there are no ash-trays, so the floor is full with cigarette-butts and other stuff
  • Fourth, music plays so laud, like in a club, so you can hardly hear somebody speaking
  • Fifth, you can dance and meet some new people

And the music, here it`s very strange. It is like a heavy rock and sometimes country but everybody are shaking theirs heads all the time and singing. I guess, they like that but I don’t really.

There is no typical clubs in Mondragon, only very similar bars which are closed at 4 in the morning. Only one bar is open till 5, so the whole crowd is going there and you can not breath anymore.

WE are getting famous!!



Now in EITB news portal they have photo and article about Erasmus student but also the same in a local newspaper. A lot of people recognise us on a street. One day Arwen with Denise (Erasmus student from Holland) were in a gym and one guy came to them and gave a press-cutting with article about us. Besides, Natalie (Erasmus student from Estonia)met a boy, who already knew her because of a newspaper. 

Everybody knows each other in Mondragon, so we are new faces here. It nice to catch attention of others, especially when these others are friendly to you. Basque people are very curious and want to know everything about you and country where you live. They introduce you to their friends and ask to join them. That happens because there not a lot of tourists or foreigners who stay in Arrasate. But some people from Europe come to visit caves and climb mountains. Our housekeeper is working as a guide in caves, so one day we will go there.

Basque with a French twist

Last weekend together with three Erasmus friends we went on a trip to the other part of the Basque Country, we went to Iparralde.

My French Erasmus friend was driving and told us on the way their that the French part would be very different from the Spanish one. At first I thought that he was just saying that because he is a Frenchman but once we arrived I could see and feel some differences yes.

We visited Bayonne, St. Jean de Luz, Biarritz and some little villages and castle that we came across. The beautiful views and beaches are just as amazing as the ones of the Spanish part. But the style of the cities is totally different. Most of the houses in Iparrelde are white with red balconies and doors, very charming.

Adriana and me with the waffles at the Christmas market

Adriana and me with the waffles at the Christmas market

The people on the street made a difference as well. Most of them spoke French and they were dressed in a different style then the people on the Spanish part. But the Basqueness on this part could not be unnoticed. The man wore barrets, Basque words were used and Basque food was served.

Nor could we escape the lovely Basque rain that we have felt on our heads the last month! The first day it rained like crazy and we were forced to enter bars and restaurants for food en drinks..what a bad thing to do! 😉

Saturday morning we walked true Bayonne and noticed a nice Christmas market! Me and Adriana, my Mexican friend, walked around it and tasted some delicious waffels with a lot of chocolate to make sure that our diets were ruined. A glass of ‘ Vine Chaud’ sounded good after the waffels. We went to the wine stall and orderd ‘ Deux vine chaud sil vous plaît’ when the man respond with a joyfull `a dos vino caliente!´. He turned out to be Basque and from that point we noticed that there were more on the streets! The ‘ Agur’ was all around us again!

At St. Jean de Luz

At St. Jean de Luz

In the afternoon we went to Biarritz, were it was raining as well. It was a charming little city with a lot of Christmas decoration and a lot of ‘ Olentzeros’ ! Here we watched our first match of rugby. What seems to be the most popular sport in French. I could just see that by the look on the face of my French friend. It made his day! Considering I’m not a big sports fan the rugby is not so bad to watch and it’s even funny when there is a nice tackle going on.

In the evening we went to a nice restaurant in Bayonne that turned out to be Basque! Here I order a stake that turned out to be huge! It felt like I was eating like a man and it was damned good for once. The guys order one kilo of steak for two and finished it all (including a piece of mine). We were very stuffed but we were in France so a big plate with cheese and marmalade and some more wine followed.

Very satisfied we walked on the streets a few hours later when we heard some trumpets and laughter. Attracted by the sound we ended up by a little bar were a live band was playing very cheerfully. The bar was stuffed with drunken and happy people and of course we squeezed ourselves between them. We had a good time filled with rum-orange shots and a huge can of beer that the bar women gave to her guest for free.

Some playing at the beach

The next day we were lucky enough to feel the sun shining on our heads. We started with a nice French breakfast and went to St. Jean de Luz by car. Here we played on the beach, saw some local dancing, made a big tour by foot while enjoying amazing views and ate some crepe before we continued our tour to whatever we would come across.

With a mad Frenchman behind the wheel we came across a lot! After making 10 spins at each round a bout we saw some castles, stopped to enjoy the view at a cliff and ate some cheese and wine on our way back in Hondarribia.

A castle we came across

A castle we came across

The good food, amazing views, all the Christmas decoration which made de towns very charming and of course my crazy companions made it a perfect weekend!

Ai ama!

That is how I feel about this weekend “Ai Ama!”.
It all started a month ago. Two of my sweet Dutch friends decided to come over to the Basque Country for a visit. I felt like ‘yeah that would be nice’ but I didn’t miss them that much actually because I knew that they would still be there by the time that I’ll return to the Netherlands.
The days went by and I didn’t have that much contact with them because I was busy with having other visitors in the Basque Country and next to that I was just busy with me normal life over here.
Then a week ago we started to have more contact because their arrival was coming near. They would arrive around nine pm in Santander so I would book a hostel because in that way we could spent the night partying over there and on Sunday we would go to Arrasate.
Their arrival was coming closer and closer and I imaged us talking and laughing and having fiestas por todos noches. I liked the idea of introducing them to all my new friends here and the idea of getting them in touch with the Basque Country.
Most of all I thought about how I would feel around them. They know the way I think, what kind of jokes I enjoy. We would probably be talking and laughing all night long while we would catch up all the gossip and stuff like that. It Would be so relaxed.
Online I had looked up some good places to party for the Saturday night In Santander and I had booked a hostel at the beach for the three of us. Filled with excitement I took the buss on Saturday together with some erasmusfriends and Tieme because some of his Dutch friends would Arrive by the same airplane.

During my trip my friends had called about arriving safely in the airport and being ready for take off. Relaxing a bit I was listening to some music while I suddenly noticed that my phone was ringing. 
Five lost calls from friends and two messages to call them back.

I looked at the time; 19.05 and their plane should have took off at 19.00..

All worried I called them back. “Girl I it sucks so bad but I have to tell you something”, answered one of my friends with a sad voice. It turned out that there are two airports in Dusseldorf (they booked a flight from Germany because it is cheaper then a direct flight from the Netherlands to Santander). They were just aware of one airport in Dusseldorf and waited and waited at the one they knew untill they noticed that their was no departure for their plane.

It turned out that they were in the wrong airport and there was no more chance for them to get to the right one in time. They had missed their flight and there was no way for them to book another.

“No just go on a plane to somewhere in Spain I will come to you..this can’t be!”, was my first response. Of course then I realized that there was no point.. and I felt so so sad! I just really felt like seeing them and now I mis them because they were so close. It sucks..

Maybe I should look for smarter friends when I return to the Netherlands (just kidding), but for now I realized how happy I am with the people that I already had in my life and with the people that got in it during my time here in the Basque Country.  I needed to be with them and have their support when my Dutch friends didn´t make it because I felt so sad and a bit lonely.

I always thought that managing without real friends and just some lose contacts would be fine but now I’ve learned how much I actually do need to have them wherever I am.
Luckely for me that the Basque Country is a good place for making friends as well 🙂

pork cheeks and stupidity

Visiting hour wasn’t finished after I put my girlfriend on the plane. Three other friends of mine came to have a look what I’m up in the Basque Country. The first one came on thursday, since I had to work in Bilbao the next day, we decided to stay there so we could explore the city together first. The good guy brought me a completely ridiculous outfit from the Netherlands to have a dress up party, but I’ll get to that in another blog. After buying an outfit for him as well, to look equally stupid, we hit some bars at the start of the evening.

We started close to the football stadium, where the atmosphere is always warm and pleasant. When matches are played the stadium and the surrounding bars are crammed with people. A cheerfull vibe is guaranteed here, also between five and eight o’clock, when people get back from work to have a pint and a pintxo.

After that I wanted to take him to a bar that I thought was a very typical sailors bar. I passed it a couple weeks ago, wondering through the area behind the bus station. It turn out to be a pro-bullfighting bar instead. Well, I’m the last person to be in favor of bullfighting, but I never experienced such a bar, so we had to go have a look. That was an interresting encounter with a piece of Spanish culture, bull’s heads on the wall, pictures of glorious bullfighters and displays other pointless ‘cultural’ killing. Oops, I guess that was an opinion there;-)

The barman however was a friendly guy, he wanted us to taste the pintxos where we were looking upon so strangely. It turned out to be pork cheek, joy! I always say that I prefer not to reject anything I never tried before, so I took the bite. Maybe also cause the barman was looking as if saying: “oke, you’re a very typical too-clean-Northern-European eater if you don’t want this”. I tasted less dubious than it looked, except for the hairy, fat pieces. We didn’t ask for it again that night..