Category Archives: Schedules

Basque is Sexy

  • Menéame0

I´ve been to the III Basque Tourism Week, held in Donostia-San Sebastián, Bilbao and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Lots of interesting people discussing about how to improve the quantity and quality of visits to our beautiful but alas! so unknown country. There was one sentence, though, that got all my attention, Basque is sexy, and yes, I think we are, and for a lot of reasons…

…because of our love for good food, good drinking and festivals…because there are plenty of places  yet to be discovered…because we make one of the best cheeses in the world (Idiazabal) but many others too…because in such a small territory we have sea, beaches, mountains, forests, lakes, caves and rivers…because our fiestas last long and suit all tastes and are really fun…because of our love for rural sports…because of our love for traditions…because of our unique language, euskera, so enigmatic…because we make one of the best wines in the world, the Rioja…because we don´t speak English and signs are in Basque and Spanish and tourists appreciate it…because of our laid back and easy going way of life…because we have the higher number of Michelin starred restaurants per head…because we keep a nice balance between rural and city life…because we have one of the most beautiful cities in Europe (in the world?), San Sebastián…because kids are welcome everywhere and we love to have them around…because of our love for families…and because a sunset from the top of the Hanging Bridge is a lifetime experience…among many other things…

It´s about time you come and visit a place full of  positive experiences and emotions…where you will find at home. And this is not just a gimmick!!

Those Strange Eating Schedules

  • Menéame0

I know, I know…all of you are kind of shocked by those strange eating schedules when you come to visit us: we do have breakfast at standard hours, just like you, but lunch is rarely before 13:30 (01:30PM), and it´s quite complicated to find a restaurant open before 21:30 (09:30PM), except maybe in Donostia-San Sebastián, where they are more influenced by the French visitors. Kids have an extra meal right after school, between 17:00 to 18:00 (just a sandwich, a piece of fruit and/or a yoghourt). On weekends this schedule readapts to our way of life: breakfast, as everywhere else, is later. But then we have the “aperitivo”, which is around 13:00, and may consist of several glasses of wine or “zuritos” (small glasses of beer), together with some pintxos, friends and outside the bars, if the weather is nice. We then have lunch (yes!), around 15:00, which may last a couple of hours. And then, the siesta…(which is not as common as you may think). Dinner on a Saturday evening may not start before 22:00 (10:00 PM) and not finish before one in the morning…or later.pintxos And it´s very hard to get a table before 0930PM.

Another habit of ours is to have the “amaiketako” (meaning at eleven), that is, a small meal by 11AM or so, in order to keep going until lunch time. It used to be more popular in the past, when factory or rural labour had long working hours and work was much tougher than today.

But why do we have these odd (to you, that is) eating schedules? Well, the legend goes that at the beginning of the XX century, when blue-collar workers started to claim their rights and obtained better salaries and therefore social status, the “capitalists” changed their eating times so they would not share their meals with their workers. As a consequence, the workers wanted to follow their bosses attitudes and habits…so they also changed their schedules accordingly…….and everybody ended having their meals later than usual…

That´s why our working and school times divide our day into two long sections. And the main news on TV are at 3PM and 9PM, finishing almost at 10PM. So don´t be surprised if you feel like having dinner at around 6PM and find that people are still working and restaurants closed. Relax, have a glass of wine and a pintxo and blend in with the locals, it´s a wonderful experience!!.