Last September 13th we organized in the Ea Astei Houses a Famtrip for agents of the tourism sector. It was a beautiful itinerary that we called “Hemingway and the Basques in Urdaibai”, centered on the presence of Hemingway in the biosphere reserve of Urdaibai.
A famtrip is a complimentary organized trip in which people and companies related to the tourism sector are invited to get to know a destination first hand.
This way, travel agencies, institutions and other companies in the sector can introduce our proposal as a vacation offer in their places of origin.
In this case, as we told you, our proposal aimed to show different places in the Urdaibai area, grouped around the figure of Hemingway and his time in the Basque Country.
The famtrip was organised and promoted by Mertxe Begiristain of the Houses of Astei, with the collaboration of the Bilbao Bizkaia Tourist Office.
Our meeting was attended by representatives of institutions and tourism companies from Andalusia and Navarra.
Day of the meeting
On the day of the meeting, Monday, September 13, we went to pick them up at the Bilbao airport. After making the introductions we headed to Bilbao, where we had coffee and an institutional presentation at the Hotel Carlton in Bilbao.
From there we went to eat at Baserri Maitea in Gernika, before arriving at Las Casas de Astei and later we visited the family wood company Egoin, very close to our houses.
Back at the Houses of Astei we tasted a delicious dinner with cod as the star ingredient and stayed for the night.
The second day of the famtrip
The next day we returned to Gernika and enjoyed the wonderful Hemingway exhibition at the Museum of Euskal Herria. Before leaving Gernika for Busturia we could not miss a visit to the world famous Jai Alai fronton.
In Busturia we had a delicious aperitif at the Txirapozu -or Chirapozu- house. Manuel de Chirapozu, from Busturia, made his fortune in South America and, upon his return to the Basque Country, decided to undertake the reconstruction of this beautiful palace.
Although it is not possible to visit the interior because it is a private property, it is possible to admire the neoclassical style with baroque touches of the construction.
This was the home of the painter José María Ucelay until his death. Uzelay painted Hemingway with Duñabeitia in 1957, a painting that today we can contemplate in the Museum of Fine Arts of Bilbao.
From Busturia we went to Bermeo, strolled around the port and had a bite to eat. Then we boarded the Izkira boat to Mundaka, where we strolled around its small and charming port.
In the casino of Mundaka we tasted a “Hemingway” meal and went to see the tomb of Andres Unzain, the priest, as did the famous Hemingway when he visited Mundaka. Unzain was a chaplain of the Army of Euskadi that was exiled in Cuba and that there he knew our famous author.
After lunch we went to Kanala Hemingway House, an impressive rural house. In the Heminway txoko of this house we had a snack before heading to the magnificent beach of Laida.
The last night at the Houses of Ea Astei we organized a fun party with traditional dances and a “Hemingway” cocktail by Musutruk.
After the party, our guests spent the night at our homes and, after a comforting breakfast, left for their places of origin.
Everything went perfectly, it was superbly organized and our guests were able to take home a wonderful souvenir of their stay and a perfect proposal for more tourists and visitors attracted by the figure of Hemingway, the gastronomy and the natural beauty of our biosphere reserve, Urdaibai.
So this is a famtrip and this is how we have organized it from Las Casas de Ea Astei. We are very satisfied with the result and, without a doubt, we will repeat the experience with tourism representatives from other territories.
Here you can see a video that we have recorded, as a summary, of a days that gave a lot.
Thank you very much to all of you for participating and see you soon!
¡Mila esker guztioi eta laster arte!