A Few Hours in Getaria

Stepping off the bus from San Sebastian into Getaria, this town in Spain displayed a unique sense of aura right upon entry. The town was bright and lively, teeming with people who were having conversations, going out for food and drinks, or even simply taking a walk. You could smell the light scent of the beach and the breeze that followed along with it, creating the perfect environment for the day that was planned.

First we all gathered to the famous statue of the Spanish Basque explorer, Juan Sebastian Elkano. It was explained to us that his voyage was very important as it was a continuation of Magallan’s exploration after he passed in the Philippines. Elkano’s voyage was very significant in crossing to the pacific ocean in search of spices in different parts of the world. This statue of him is an important landmark in the town of Getaria.

Statue of Juan Sebastian Elkano.

For our day in Getaria, professor Zabalbeascoa had planned the day out so that we were able to do a wine tasting at a vineyard by the name of Gaintza Txakolina. This vineyard is a family owned business who puts hard work into their products and have even begun to grow in different areas of the world. Before arrival, many of us including myself, have never thought about the intricate and meticulous process that goes into the creation of the wine people drink. We were extremely fortunate to be able to receive a tour of the vineyard and the production system of the wine to be able to see how it is formed. Knowing all of the manual labor it takes to create these delicious drinks gives us all a new perspective. After the tour, we were all able to sit down and try three types of wine that were created from this vineyard. There were three sides (one for each wine), that were each selected to perfectly match each wine that was served. The first wine we tried was paired with anchovies, the second was white tune (my personal favorite) and the last wine was paired with a unique chocolate.

Part of the vineyard overlooking the town.

At this wine tasting, we also were able to see the differences between wine and how factors such as a bit more aging can completely change the taste of it. Being able to learn about the fermentation process and the gas exchange that grapes and fruits go through in order to get these tasty beverages was very fascinating.

After the vineyard, we were able to walk around and grab pintxos and gelato which were very tasty. Walking down the streets of Getaria and getting to explore during our lunch break was amazing. Being able to see the lively culture around us was lovely. People were dancing, celebrating an event, greeting each other and the friendliness of the town was very refreshing to see. There were many restaurants and bars to choose from and you could smell the aromas from outside it was so hard to choose! I ended up getting a pintxo that was chicken with a white sauce and it was delicious.

Before going back into San Sebastian, we were able to visit another famous landmark of Getaria which was the Balenciaga Museum. It was a quick visit considering time escaped us quicker than we thought, but we walked through the museum looking at each piece and trying to analyze what each of these outfits could have been used for. Each piece was extremely unique and it was very captivating as to how clean and sharp all of the clothing was. There were some interesting articles of clothing that left us wondering what the purpose to it was or where someone wore that to. Along with this, there were also sketches on the walls and clothing pieces that were open to see how the inner workings of the clothing worked. This was as if we were seeing the vision of these fashion pieces from the perspective of how and why they were created. It was very fascinating to see the sketches and to also see the pieces come to life in the museum.

Visiting Getaria allowed us to experience more parts of Spain outside of San Sebastian and learn more about the culture and history here in Spain. We were able to genuinely see the inner works of how things are made, first from the vineyard, then from the Balenciaga Museum. It was amazing being able to visit this peaceful, yet lively town. This day trip was something that was eye opening, relaxing and beautiful and is definitely worth seeing to get a glimpse into Basque culture.