Posted on Jun 9, 2016 in Alumni News and News
A group of Jayhawks embarked on a cruise that begain in Lisbon, Portugal and ended in Bordeaux, France. On board the ship we enjoyed a series of culinary presentations by Kristine Kidd, former editor of Bon Appétit magazine and author of numerous cookbooks. Her presentations included topics such as butter, salt, and chocolate; sustainable seafood; jamón; cheese; and olive oil. The tastings were my favorite part of her presentations; they inspired me to start cooking more. We made stops along the way to the Stock Exchange and the Igreja de Sao Francisco church in Oporto, Portugal before traveling to Spain.
Santiago de Compostela, or the way of Saint James, was our first stop in Spain. It was interesting to see the current restoration of the church and also watch the pilgrims with their packs making their journey along the path. Our last stop in Spain was my favorite: we visited Bilbao to tour the Guggenheim Museum and the Basque Country. The Guggenheim did not disappoint— the Frank Gehry design is credited with reviving commerce and tourism in Bilbao. I enjoyed the digital installation at the museum with the sentiments of love and hate which could be viewed from different directions, and of course the Andy Warhol display.
To end our visit, we enjoyed a culinary experience at the Restaurant Aspaldiko, which was housed in an old 16th-century farm house. We were greeted with wine and the peacocks that were living on the property and then sat down to a meal of traditional hot and cold pintxos (tapas), local desserts and Spanish wines. Our group of Jayhawks had a good time learning from the chef about the local ingredients and how the pintxos were prepared.
The last country on our trip was France. We started with a full day visiting three towns: Saint Jean de Luz, Biarritz, and Bayonne. More of the Basque region, but this time in France. Biarritz was a beautiful seaside resort. We enjoyed free time in Bayonne. I’m not much of a chocolate fan, but I experienced hot chocolate at Chocolat Cazenave that was founded in 1854. It was quite the treat!
The next day we stopped in Saint Martin de Re and then headed on to La Rochelle for the afternoon. I enjoyed lunch with the Millers at an outdoor café, and the table next to us ordered an elaborate boat of seafood (it was served in a small wooden boat and intricately decorated food presentation). We ended our trip in Bordeaux. It was a rainy day for our walking tour, but our passengers were good sports. Many took time to dry off and regroup back on the ship before venturing back out to Bordeaux for some independent exploration. It was a good trip, with a great group of Jayhawks. It was a different take on travel by experiencing it through local cuisine.
I loved meeting new Jayhawks and experiencing new corners of the world. I hope to travel with our passengers again.
Until next time,
—Tegan Thornberry, assistant director of membership and business development, hosted the Flying Jayhawks trip “European Coastal Civilizations” from April 16-24. For more information about the Flying Jayhawks program, including the 2017 schedule, visit www.kualumni.org/flyingjayhawks.
Watch the slideshow below to see more photos from the European Coastal Civilizations trip, or click here to view the pictures on Flickr. Photos may be downloaded for personal use only.