Monday, July 25, 2011

Sunday, July 24, One more week

Donostia (San Sebastian), Heineken Jazz Festival

Our hopes were high for this day, and we planned well in advance to make sure we could soak up the sun on the beaches of this popular city of 180,000 people on the northern coast of Spain, a hop, skip and a jump from France.  Hannah Reimer's friend, Igor, from ten years ago, whom she met in Germany, met up with us and introduced us to his wonderful family.  Unfortunately, as you can tell by our jackets and sweaters, mother nature didn't get the memo about sending the sun to the jazz festival.  Instead, we walked around with umbrellas, usually open, and only caught a sampling of music as a result. Usually the beach is packed with people on this day, but the cold and rain has been parked over pais vasco for several days now. 

The great thing was to be able to see a young family speaking to the children in euskera and then switching to castellano so effortlessly.  It is a beautiful thing, and research has shown that it is good for the brain to use multiple languages throughout life.  The custom of going out for "pintxos" in Donostia (San Sebastian) is something you can do regardless of the weather.  So we sampled some delicious dishes at a number of fine establishments that fill the narrow streets of this charming town. Igor, Leticia and their two children showed us a great time despite the lousy weather.  They know they have an open invitation to visit Milwaukee anytime.  The Euskera word for good bye is "agur," and you hear it all the time around town.  So thank you Igor and family for making our visit to Donosti even more memorable.  Agur!

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