Archives arrowbullet Recreational arrowbullet Day trip mintza-praktika to Whitstable July 2011

Whitstable mintza-praktika day trip poster

As part of the summer mintza-praktikak, the Society is organising a day trip to the beautiful seaside town of Whitstable on Sunday July 24th. Contact us to find out more about it or to join the group.

How did it go?

The first summer mintza praktika day was a great success! We met more than 20 people outside Oxford House early morning and left London shortly after saying egunon to each other. Unfortunately the sun didn't turn up to greet us, but at least it didn't rain.

We spent a little more than an hour on the road before we reached our destination: Whitstable, a beautiful seaside town in Northeast Kent.

We parked our cars outside the town and after a short walk around it, we got to the beach. It was cloudy but we knew the weather was not going to ruin our mintza praktika day out.

We decided to start practicing our ancestral language introducing each other by throwing a ball an saying our name and where we were coming from: Kaixo, ni Naiara naiz eta Sopelakoa naiz, Kaixo ni Unai naiz eta Gasteizkoa naiz, Kaixo, ni Jagoba naiz eta Enfield-ekoa naiz... We spent a while until we all learned each other's name.


After a few more games midday arrived and we all started to smell the nice patata tortila ogitartekoa Jone and Agurtzane were preparing...what a great lunch we had! Geroa, Agur and Ibon spent the previous day making lots of great Basque omelettes, yes, I know some people call them Spanish tortilla but I can guarantee Basque tortilla is magical and tastes better than the so called Spanish one. After the lunch break was finished, we thought we could split up in groups and do some investigating about the history of the beautiful town we were visiting, so we gave ourselves half an hour to go to town and get as much information as we could. Before we realised it was time to come back and meet everyone at the beach:  Whitstable is famous for its Oysters, which have been collected in the area since at least Roman times said Ibon in euskara...

Jone carried on:  The town itself dates back to before the writing of the Domesday Book.

Then Mirian arrived and said: Whitstable's distinctive character is popular with tourists, and its maritime heritage is celebrated with the annual Oyster festival. Then Irantzu added: freshly caught shellfish are available throughout the year at several seafood restaurants and pubs in the town. Jokin ended up the history lesson by saying: in 1830 one of the earliest passenger railway services was opened by the Canterbury and Whitstable railway Company, and in 1832 the company opened Whitstable's harbour and extended the line to enable passage to London from the port. The railway has since closed but the harbour still plays an important role in the town's economy.

We all had a great history lesson and a good euskara practice too, so it was time to do something else: why don't we split up in groups of three and I do some questions to them? suggested Gari, whoever does not know the answer has to take off the shoes and get into the sea...We all laughed and had great fun. Some of us were even brave enough to swim in the cold sea.

We were running out of energy until Inigo suggested: why don't we go to the pub and have a pint before we head back to London? everyone cheered...Bai noski! so we ended up at the Old Neptune, a great seaside pub with the perfect location to view the extraordinary sunset and of course we all had a beautiful day practicing our loved language Euskara.

Then, someone shouted topaEuskal Herriaren alde! Topa Euskararen alde! and everyone replied topa!