Hemingway discovered the Basque Country for the first time on 5 July 1923, travelling with his first wife, Hadley Richardson. As a result of that trip his life took a turn that was unexpected even for him. In October 1926, the novel "The Sun Also Rises" was published, the draft for which was completed by Hemingway in Donostia-San Sebastian. The work marked a turning point in English-language literature and the worldwide recognition of the writer. What is more, the literary life of Hemingway practically ended in Bilbao, in the summer of 1959, where he wrote the final pages of "The Dangerous Summer", his last literary work. That was how important what he himself called the "Basque Country" on various occasions was for his work. And what might we say about his relationship with the people, culture and customs of that country?
"The Basques are great people. Very noble, but also very lively." This is how the pelota player Félix Areitio transcribed the words of Ernest Hemingway for the Mexican magazine Cancha in 1945. The writer knew what he was talking about. In the nineteen-twenties he had frequented the territories of Araba, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, as well as those on the other side of the Bidasoa, not to mention Navarre.
He discovered the Basque Country for the first time on 5 July 1923, travelling with his first wife, Hadley Richardson. As a result of that trip his life took a turn that was unexpected even for him.
Soon Ernest Hemingway would be recognised as one of the greats of twentieth-century English-language literature. He was also an inexhaustible traveller. The Basque Country, through which he never stopped travelling, was one of his great sources of inspiration. In the trip that we propose to make following in his tracks you will discover a country that never ends.
Here, in addition to writing, he enjoyed fishing, the Pyrenees, the sea, wine, the game of pelota, culture and gastronomy. This passion for the Basque Country was transformed into friendship with its people.
The aim of the "Hemingway Basque Route" is for you to find out more about the writer and journalist Ernest Hemingway, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize for Literature, and about the person who fell in love with this area in the nineteen-twenties and retained that love throughout his life.