In this guide, a resident of Spain delves into every part of the Basque Country of Spain. He tells of the history and culture, and provides innumerable useful traveling tips. Everything is explored - the cities, the parks, the islands, the mountains, the foods. There is an extensive introduction to the whole of Spain, the history and culture, the foods and wines, the arts and architecture. Then all the practical details are covered. Next, we zero in on Bilbao, San Sebastian and other parts of this fascinating Basque region - with a population speaking a language far more ancient than any other in Europe. Euskara, a language unrelated to Castilian Spanish, is fundamental to the Basque way of life. Like the Basque people themselves, this tongue derived from unknown origins. It remains to be proven whether the language of Euskara arrived with nomadic tribes from the Caucasus Mountains in Africa and, for that matter, whether or not the Basque people are truly descendants of Europe's earliest inhabitants, Cro-Magnon man. The Pais Vasco (Euskadi) is the easternmost autonomous region of what is known as Green Spain, a verdant swath of land along the northern Atlantic coast that, some say, resembles Switzerland more than it does Spain. Though there are plenty of opportunities for hiking in the empty inlands of the Pais Vasco, coastal sports like surfing and boating are the main activities, along with the unique Basque game of pelota and, of course, the adventures of eating. The Pais Vasco, with more gourmet restaurants and Michelin stars to its credit than any other Spanish region, is truly a culinary delight.
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