Walking to… Bilbao (Basque country!)

November 23, 2007

I’ve been fascinated by the Basque people for quite some time. The Basques are an ethnically distinct group in Europe currently living in Southwest France and Northeast Spain and are coming close to the end of the line as they become more and more assimilated each year with the European culture around them (Spanish separatist movement & violence notwithstanding).

I’ve been in France for 4 years now & have never made it there to visit, even though I’ve read several books on the topic & am very interested.

Well, my husband proposed that we take a weekend there early next year – in February.

In the meantime, I’ve been trying to decide what to do for my exercise tracking. I’ve seen these neat programs where you do a virtual walk across the US or Canada but couldn’t find that for Europe, so I calculated the number of miles between Paris (where I live) and Bilbao (capital city in Spanish Basque country) and viola — 462 miles.

Yikes. I don’t think I can actually walk 462 miles between now and our trip, but at least it gives me something to measure against, and it seems more meaningful than counting the minutes. Last week I set up an exercise ticker w minutes, with the goal randomly selected at 500, but I’ve actually been making good progress towards that (as of yesterday I’m at 285 of 500 minutes, so clearly that is do-able). I think the miles to Bilbao will be a better goal, and even if I’m far off in February, I’ll get there eventually.

So, here’s the ticker :

…it’s also on my Progress page!

I had an exercise boost today. There have been major transportation strikes in Paris for the past few weeks, and today I had a meeting across town. I considered my options and decided to WALK instead of fighting the crowds of the metro or risking crazy stress levels from terrible traffic jams on the roads. So I put on my iPod and set out… and ended up walking home at the end of the day too. 6 miles round trip! Not bad at all, and the most environmentally-friendly and least-stressful choice I could have made! Plus I’m that much closer to Bilbao 😉

Previous post:

Next post: