“Sojourn in Spain (5): Basque Country: Bilbao, San Sebastian, Guernica – Af Ron ridenour (eng)

En rejseberetning af Ron Ridenour: “Sojurn in Spain” – Med Collager af Jette Salling – 5. afsnit

KPnetBlogs bringer en spændende rejseberetning som sommerføljeton  i 7 dele skrevet af  Ron Ridenour med collager af Jette Salling. De to har besøgt Spanien og videregiver her tanker og indtryk fra landet – om politikken, historien, naturen og menneskene de har mødt. Teksten er på engelsk. Afsnit 6 udgives onsdag d. 9. august

Her følger afsnit 5.

5_gernica oak tree
BASQUE COUNTRY: BILBAO, SAN SEBASTIAN, GUERNICA

We flew to Bilbao, the largest city in Basque Country, 300,000 population; one million in urban area. It is also the richest city, having once provided England with two-thirds its iron ore and possessing 20% of the world’s steel.

Bilbao grew rapidly in the industrial age. The 160-meter long, high suspension Vizcaya Bridge is a towering sign of that. Modern public transportation is also a highlight. We were pleasantly surprised by how helpful and understanding train and bus personnel are. On two occasions we were allowed to travel without having tickets.

5_Jette med baskisk baretJette with Basque beret. Depending upon how one places the beret it signals different identities:
peasants and workers, soldiers, artist Pablo Picasso, revolutionary Che Guevara or Beatles John Lennon.

At Bilbao’s Euskal Museum, we saw some of the Basque people’s history, including Gernika’s (Basque spelling) beginnings 2800 years ago. There was evidence that Basques are descendants of indigenous groups in the Pyrenees and Cantabrian mountains dating back 9000 years ago. They are the oldest permanent residents in Western Europe with the oldest original language (Euskara), which is also the only surviving non-Indo-European language. Basque land covers about 20,700 square kilometers spread over four provinces in Spain (now three) and three in France.

Bilbao has also been the center for nationalism, for Basque independence, for sovereignty. Most political parties have stood for independence regardless of ideology. The opinion of the two Euskal Museum workers we spoke with seems to be typical. “One day we will have our sovereignty again; not just yet but the day will come.”

The ETA was in the process of surrendering the last of their arms. I spoke about this with a bartender and two customers, one of whom had been a member. Ana is a small, actually frail person in her 30s. She spent four years clandestine and 30 months imprisoned. She didn’t go into details but didn’t regret her struggle. She was optimistic that one day “we’ll be sovereign”. Ana had hope for humanity. Maybe there would be less war with Donald Trump in the White House.

Læs resten af afsnit 5 – og de tidligere afsnit – på KPnetBlogs

 

 

KPnet 2. august 2017