With no concrete itinerary for the month, I decide to travel with the World Cup. My goal is to see games in the country that is playing and enjoy the native excitement. Ole! First up? Spain vs. Netherlands. Three of us traveled down the Basque coast to Irún, Spain to catch the match. What a gorgeous coast - cliffs, blue water, and winding roads. After crossing the French border into Spain, you can see and feel the difference. No more white buildings with red roofs - something a bit spicier is in the air! We find a packed pub in the center of town for the first part of the match. When Alonso scores the first goal for Spain, the entire pub went wild. Infectious excitement! We rode the cheers to a neighboring restaurant for some tapas. The tapas are amazing, but the locals are not looking happy in the 44th minute when Holland's van Persie puts one in! Tapas bar #3 - Score is now 3 to 1 and we find 3 French folks cheering loudly for the Netherlands. Well, I guess it was good for them that we were in Basque because the local Spaniards didn't seem too angry. It was 5 to 1 by the end... a big upset. There were no fireworks in the square that night, but I'm sure the folks in the Netherlands partied all night long! We headed back to Bidart with higher hopes for the French team.
Spain Goals: Xabi Alonso (#14) 27'
Holland Goals: Robin van Persie (#9) 44', 72' / Arjen Robben (#11) 53', 80' / Stefan de Vrij (#3) 65'