We look around, and to our surprise, there’s a museum covered in a strange language that seems vaguely familiar. We take a closer look and realize it is the Euskadi language, a unique language that is only spoken in Spain and parts of France. We think we had better check it out! Inside the building, we find out that it is all about the Basque people. Why would there be a museum about people from Spain in Idaho?!? As we go through the museum we find a room filled with pictures of women and dates of immigration. How is this possible? Idaho is in the middle of the country, far away from the ocean! It turns out that many people from the Basque Country migrated to the U.S. not so long ago. Many of them found their way to Boise to work as shepherds.
We also discovered that they had the original camper van (and it was bigger than ours!!).
It was a wagon that they drove to the sheep grazing grounds and then lived in it while they took care of the sheep. We’re glad that our camper van is able to move on it’s own, but we are jealous of the bigger space!
Today, you can still find Basque restaurants, clubs, and activities in Boise.
We are so glad to find a piece of Spain in the U.S., especially because we had just been the Basque Country while we were still in Spain. While we were there we saw lots of beaches, ate interesting foods, visited a crazy museum and hiked beautiful mountains.
We learned that Basque sailors were some of the most adventurous and daring sailors around. Every year they would sail to what is now Canada to hunt whales. The whole region would work together to build and supply the ships. We even saw a boat that is being constructed with traditional Basque tools and methods. Who would have guessed that in a few months we would find these same people in the middle of Idaho? Next time you are curious about Spanish culture, how about a quick trip to Boise?