Friday, March 4, 2011

Basque Farm Country

When it was time to move on from Getaria, Alberto called his brother and we soon met up with him. Eugenio is something like a CPAg (Certified Professional Agronomist), he assesses the needs of the area farmers in order to award government subsidies.

He gave us a tour of some of his clients' farms.
The land is so beautiful and there was so much to learn.
Photos this day were all Laurie's, so many and so good. How could we do justice to the scenery and what we experienced that day? I decided to make a montage.
First, a topographic map of the coastline to give you an idea of the area we visited that Wednesday in June from Zarautz to Askizu.

Also, some information about the Basque baserria (farmstead). Typically about 25 acres made up of three types of land and used for different purposes: arable fields, meadows, and mountain terrain. Baserri comes from baso (wilderness) and erri (settlement). This very self-sufficient unit where a family met all of its needs was traditionally considered the ideal living situation. Even today, in our industrialized society, the baserri way of life remains morally desirable. The etxe (house or dwelling) in the center of each has long been a symbol of the Basque region--a white three-storied structure--as expressed in a nineteenth-century folk song.
Lift your eyes to see
At the break of day
Set upon a hill
 A little white house, shining white
Set amid four oaks
With a small spring nearby
And a white dog in the doorway
There I live in peace.

I hope you enjoy this vicarious travel experience.
I have been working on this piece for days now, unable to figure out the best way to upload the video, and now I see that I have succeeded in two places, within this post and separately.

When it came time to leave, Alberto was on his cell phone again, to let his wife, Edurne, know when and where we would meet up with her. The tough job of a tour guide: coordinate the schedule, herd the people along at a reasonable pace, and...

...worry about the weather!

Alberto at the end of the tour was relieved: "El tiempo nos acompa├▒├│!" (The weather was in our favor.)

1 comment:

Oldfangled said...

Beautiful country! (And I like the new spring background on your blog!)