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Spanish Cave Paintings Discovered to be Some of the Oldest in Europe

Spanish Cave Paintings Discovered to be Some of the Oldest in Europe Sep 26th, 2013 at 10:00AM: Image courtesy GipuzkoaKultura Cave paintings at the Altxerri cave system in the Basque region of northern Spain are about 39,000 years old, making them some of the oldest in Europe, Popular Archaeology reports. A team of French and Spanish scientists analyzed the paintings, which include images such as the bison shown here, as well as finger marks, a feline, a bear, an unidentified animal...

The Most Useful Useless Phrasebook Phrases

The Most Useful Useless Phrasebook Phrases Jun 1st, 2012 at 9:00AM: I've frequently touted Lonely Planet's Phrasebooks on Gadling (about as often as I've truthfully stated that I receive no kickbacks from them). They've saved my butt countless times, helping me do everything from getting on the right train platform to finding out what obscure ingredient is in a dish. There's another reason I love these indispensible travel companions, however, and that's for...

Politics and people: an immigrant's impressions of Spain's Basque region

Politics and people: an immigrant's impressions of Spain's Basque region Jun 3rd, 2011 at 3:00PM: One downside to being an immigrant is that you have to learn a whole new set of politics and social divisions. Since moving to Madrid six years ago, I've heard a lot of people talking about Spain's Basque region. Everyone has an opinion about it but most haven't actually been there. I've recently returned from six days hiking in the Basque region with a group of Americans and two Basque guides....

Hiking in France's Basque Region

Hiking in France's Basque Region May 31st, 2011 at 2:00PM: The Basque region straddles the border between northeastern Spain and southwestern France. For the past five days I've been hiking in Spain's Basque region, and today I and my group are crossing the border into France. One of our Basque guides, Josu, says the culture on the other side of the border isn't as strong. While only 28% of Spanish Basques can speak Basque (Euskara), that number goes...

Hiking the Basque coastline

Hiking the Basque coastline May 27th, 2011 at 2:00PM: While the Sierra de Toloño offers some amazing trails and views, the most alluring sights I've seen in the Basque region are along its coastline. The coast of northeast Spain and southwest France along the Bay of Biscay is part of the Basque heartland. Inland villages played a key role in keeping Basque culture alive, but it's the ports--Bilbao, San Sebastian, and many smaller...

Climbing a Basque mountain

Climbing a Basque mountain May 25th, 2011 at 4:00PM: I've been hiking in Spain's Basque region for three days now, and now I'm facing the most challenging hike of my trip. I and a few volunteers from my group are going up and over the Sierra de Toloño in La Rioja, Spain's most renowned wine-producing region. At nine miles it's not as long as my daily hikes along the Hadrian's Wall Path or the East Highland Way, but the 1,100-ft....

Salt, wine, and wealth in Spain's Basque region

Salt, wine, and wealth in Spain's Basque region May 23rd, 2011 at 3:00PM: In the modern world we don't give much thought to salt. We casually pick some up in the supermarket or tear open a packet at a café, but in the past salt was a vital and sought-after commodity. Everyone needed it for preserving food and as a source for iodine. Nobody could live without it and those who controlled its supply became rich and powerful. The Basque region of Spain was a...

Hiking and politics in the Basque region's Grand Canyon

Hiking and politics in the Basque region's Grand Canyon May 21st, 2011 at 2:00PM: "The Basques have the oldest history in Europe," says Dr. Alberto Santana, historian and co-founder of Aunia, a Basque cultural magazine. "We have been here since the Stone Age and have the most distinct language in the world. There are some 6,000 languages in 12 language families. Basque is in a family by itself." The Basque language, Euskara, is the heart of Basque identity, he tells our...

Hiking through Spain's Basque region

Hiking through Spain's Basque region May 19th, 2011 at 1:30PM: Most tourists who visit Spain stick to the central and southern parts of the country--Madrid, Granada, Seville, Barcelona, and the Costa del Sol. They generally skip the greener, more temperate north. If they head north at all, it's to stop in Bilbao in Spain's Basque region to see the Guggenheim. Yet the Basque region has much more to offer. In Spain, it's an Autonomous Community, something...

Terrorist bomb blast in Spanish tourist town

Terrorist bomb blast in Spanish tourist town Jul 29th, 2009 at 12:30PM: The northern Spanish town of Burgos, a popular destination for holidaymakers, was rocked by a car bomb early this morning. According to the BBC the bomb targeted a high-rise residential building of the Guardia Civil, injuring 46 people, many of whom are women and children. Officials are blaming ETA, a terrorist group that seeks an independent Basque nation in Spain's northern region. Unlike many...

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