I’ve wanted to learn to speak Spanish well ever since my brother and his Spanish wife (now friendly, but ex-wife) had a son. That was more than 14 years ago and, despite many hours of lessons, my Spanish is still rudimentary. The best way to learn was to move to a Spanish-speaking place like… Spain. The boyfriend liked that idea, as he wants to learn to speak better Spanish too and there is also great food, wine and fly-fishing. Both of us had loved previous visits to Donostia-San Sebastian, in the Basque Country (where they speak Spanish and Basque and not much English, unlike on the Costas). We came back two years ago to check it out again and discovered a place that was a little more quiet, with just as much character, along the coast: Hondarribia. Hondarribia also has a great food and wine scene. There’s a beach for me to swim at and, if you take a 7 minute ferry ride across the Bidasoa river to France, there is a surf beach at Hendaye.
We packed up the boyf’s Land Rover nearly two weeks ago and took the 24 hour ferry from England to Bilbao to drive on to Hondarribia. Yesterday, we signed a contract on a flat rental (for a year!) and we think we have opened a bank account. All with our lousy Spanish (we hope the apartment contract was fairly standard, as we are not sure of some of the clauses…). I certainly hope that we learn a lot more in the year ahead.