We Have Moved to Spain (and are Learning Spanish Very Slowly)!

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 street 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.

Hondarribia beach

Hondarribia beach

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. Billie doesn't want us to leave without him 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.

I bought a second hand bike for the beach

My beach bike

Our favourite coffee place in Hondarribia: Amona Margarita

Our local cafe-bakery

The port is another good place to swim

The best place to swim

Billie and I tried paddle boarding on the estuary. Fell in but haven't got sick so far...

Paddle boarding on the Bidasoa River that separates Hondarribia from France

I like the advice to treat the port like your home and keep it clean, but a lot of people seem to ignore it. The flat we've rented is next to this gateway in the old town Billie adjusted to Spanish life very quickly


About ahallatt

Cartoonist and writer. My first illustrated chapter book, FAB (Friends Against Bullying) Club, for kids 8-12 is out on Amazon. More at alexhallatt.com
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