Thursday, 10 September 2009

fishy St Jean de Luz

The fishermen of St Jean de Luz do work hard. No matter what time of day (or night) you walk past the small Basque fishing port there is always something going on; boats coming and going, others unloading their catches, bickering bartering, preparations and so forth. The town has a rich history in the fishing trade. From the C13th there are reports of whaling from the port. These intrepid adventurers sailed as far as Greenland in search of whales and seals.

It is said that when Colombus first arrived in the Americas the natives spoke a form of Basque implying he was far from the first visitor to those shores. When the Dutch and English began to commercialise fishing (whaling in particular) it is to Basque fishermen they turned for expert guidance.

The port of St Jean de Luz is still thriving and very active. Freshly caught fish is on sale daily; from squid to lobster to bream. Unfortunately most of the whales were killed off at the beginning of the last century but there is said to be a growing population that visits the Bay of Biscay annually.

Basque of the day:- fish :: arrain