Basque Country Discovery & Connections Sights, Sounds and Tastes of the Basque Country Vicky Ayala Richardson has taken a very long and winding road to discover her Basque roots. However, once discovered, she has been single minded in her approach to connecting with the sights, sounds and tastes which are Basque. Collected directly from the Basque lands and brought together in her book, Basque Country Discovery & Connections, its pages over flow with the unique quality of place and people. Basque Country Discovery & Connection is an overview of the Basque Country, including its location, history, nationalism, language, Diaspora, and global contributions. The heart of this study is devoted to the Ayala family history beginning in 790 AD and describes the important role of Don Pedro Lopez de Ayala (1332-1407), Chancellor of Spain. Portrayal of the Basque experience; its national holidays, festivals, and market days, invite the reader to enjoy the life style of the Basques. Also covered are descriptions of Basque culture: the importance of the family name, mythology, poetry (Bertsolari), folklore, music, folk dancing, fine arts, architecture, the Guggenheim Museum, Victor Hugo, Ernest Hemingway, and the national card game, Mus. Sports is an integral part of Basque society - from soccer, games and competitions of strength and endurance, pelota/jai alai, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, and the trekking experience on the Way of St. James. Coverage of Basque wine and cuisine introduces readers to Txakoli and Rioja wine, Ayala Champagne, the connection of chocolate with Bayonne, and popular Basque recipes. A brief description of Basque Country weather, flora, and fauna round out the reader's Basque experience. Basque Country Discovery & Connection is a photo book and travel guide which also provides a cultural view, Basque recipes, and an eye-opening discussion of Basque history and achievements. Central to the inspiration for this book is the genealogy of the Ayala family and their place of historical importance in the Basque Country and Spain. Bibliography, References, Acknowledgements, Resources and Index are also included.
Born in Guatemala and raised in the United States, Vicky Richardson was aware of her Guatemalan connection but never questioned her real roots. All her experiences and references to family ties and customs suddenly became clear once she was introduced to the Basque Culture. Vicky's background in the arts, both as a practitioner and teacher, along with her training and practice of graphic design, has made it possible for her to meet the challenge of crafting a book which brings to light who and what are the Basque people and the Basque Country. Vicky has a wide range of loves and interests in her life. She as been a bi-lingual secretary, bookkeeper, graphic designer, real estate investor, middle school art teacher, ceramicist instructor, restaurant owner/manager, gallery director, photographer, wife and mother of four children and grandmother of 13.