A Travellerspoint blog

Spain

Day 51

Our last full day in Spain - amazing bridge

semi-overcast 19 °C

We were so tired at the end of yesterday that we did not even say that we had toured the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. We enjoyed the Chagall exhibition but the "Film & Video" and the "Art and China after 1989" left us cold. The building is beautiful.

We spent the night in a suburb of Bilbao known as Getxo. Our hotel was likely at one time a family home of a wealthy family as that was the kind of neighbourhood it was. We had a comfortable room and a wonderful dinner in their restaurant. We would recommend a stay in that hotel to anyone.

This morning we had breakfast in our hotel and then drove to a bridge known as the Vizcaya Bridge. It is a UNESCO site because it is the 1st bridge in the world to carry people & traffic on a high suspended gondola. We have a series of pictures that we took as we watched the gondola crossing the mouth of the Nervion River.

The gondola

The gondola


The gondola about to cross the river

The gondola about to cross the river

The gondola crossing the river

The gondola crossing the river

The gondola crossing the river 2

The gondola crossing the river 2

The gondola crossing the river 3

The gondola crossing the river 3

The gondola docking

The gondola docking

The cars and passengers departing

The cars and passengers departing

Well, that looked like fun so we went and got our car and lined up to get on the next crossing.

Here we are on the gondola

Here we are on the gondola

Here we are crossing the river

Here we are crossing the river

Here we are about to dock

Here we are about to dock

That was a good experience.

We then started our drive to our lodging for tonight. Our plan was to stop in a nearby city and get groceries then drive to Sotes and our overnight stay. We would arrive early in the afternoon and use the promised washer and dryer and catch up on the laundry.

Well, the GPS did not find the first or second grocery store. The GPS could not find our lodging for the night. Luckily our host saw a car wandering the all too narrow streets of their town and came to our rescue. By this time Reta was about fried and figured the GPS was totally without merit and had some rather dark thoughts about it. Anyway, when we saw our lodging we quickly realized that there was not a washer and dryer here, just a washer and a drying rack which would not accommodate two weeks of laundry.

Art got out the computer and looked up a laundromat in a nearby town. Reta figured we would never find it and would be going "commando" (no underwear) for the foreseeable future. Art prevailed and we followed the GPS to a nearby town, found the laundromat and did the laundry. Art went out scouting for a grocery store and found it so after the laundry was done, we got groceries and returned to Sotes.

When we returned we noticed the gate posts on our property. It seems that the Camino de Santiago goes through this area and our hosts often have these travelers as guests.

Gate post one - Camino de Santiago

Gate post one - Camino de Santiago

Gate post two - San Martin - the name of our property

Gate post two - San Martin - the name of our property

Reta spotted a beautiful rose in the garden.

Rose

Rose

Our little apartment has a unique light fixture made of a tea pot and five cups and saucers.

Tea pot and cups and saucers

Tea pot and cups and saucers

This is the view out of our window. One view looks out on hills and fields and the other looks toward distant mountains.

Hills and fields

Hills and fields

Distant mountains

Distant mountains

Tomorrow we spend most of the day in Spain but will spend the night in France.

Posted by A-RPoulton 13:21 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 50

Rock Art, Lighthouse, Modern Art

rain 19 °C

Our first photo was taken last night before darkness fell. It was the best photo of mountains from our room.

Evening June 11, 2018 - some mountains

Evening June 11, 2018 - some mountains

We woke this morning to rain, wind and yes, clouds. Our hope to get a good photo of the mountains was dashed.

We packed up our car and drove to Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, Spain to see the Altamira Museum. Cave art was discovered in a cave near the museum in the 1800's. It became such a tourist attraction that by the 1970's the art work was starting to suffer damage. Instead the art work has been reconstructed in the museum along with a lot of information about archeology and human development. This is another excellent museum in Spain. We were allowed to take a few photos in the museum if we did not use a flash.

Museum title

Museum title

Replica of archeology dig

Replica of archeology dig

Replica of rock art

Replica of rock art

We then drove to Santander to see the Faro Cabo de Mayor or the Lighthouse at Cape Mayor. The following are the photos we took.

Lighthouse at Cape Mayor

Lighthouse at Cape Mayor

A view from the lighthouse

A view from the lighthouse

A nearby cliff with a miniature lighthouse

A nearby cliff with a miniature lighthouse

The waves crashing on the rocks

The waves crashing on the rocks

Lighthouse label

Lighthouse label

We then drove to Bilbao, Spain and went to the Guggenheim Museum. This museum features modern art. Reta got a good photo of the flower covered puppy, a creation by Jeff Koons, in front of the museum and the tulips, also by Jeff Koons, on the outside as well. We borrowed a picture of the Frank Gehry designed building because we could not get the whole building in one picture.

The floral puppy at the entrance

The floral puppy at the entrance

Tulips by Jeff Koons Outside of Guggenheim Museum

Tulips by Jeff Koons Outside of Guggenheim Museum

Outside of Guggenheim Museum

Outside of Guggenheim Museum

Posted by A-RPoulton 13:19 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 49

A visit to Picos de Europa National Park

overcast 14 °C

This morning we got our car out of the underground parking lot and started out for the Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) National Park.

It was a 2-hour drive to the western end of the park which was the park entrance. We stopped at the first information stop which more or less laid out the rules in Spanish and English. We were disappointed because the clouds were so low that we did not see the mountain peaks. Nevertheless, we continued east through the park.

Park rules

Park rules

We stopped at a mirador or viewpoint, but the clouds were still too low to see mountain peaks.

Mirador or viewpoint

Mirador or viewpoint

We took some pictures as the clouds cleared but the stunning peaks were still hiding from us.

Cloudy mountain view

Cloudy mountain view

Another mountain view

Another mountain view

We stopped at one viewpoint and walked to the top of a hill in hopes that we would get a better view. When we got back to the car a motor bike with two riders had stopped by our car. We struck up a conversation with them to discover that they were from Wales. He was a motorbike repair man and had had many adventures on his bike. He was quite interested in why two Canadians were driving a car with French plates. After a very pleasant conversation they went on their way and we went on ours.

The next viewpoint we stopped at had this sculpture of a deer.

Deer viewpoint

Deer viewpoint

We have seen very little wild life on this trip. We get excited by birds - well, we would anyway.

We eventually drove to the town of Tama where we found the Park Information Centre at the far east end of the park. This was an excellent stop with a very well created display about the park and the wild life and the human interaction and history. It was well worth the hour we spent there. We wished we had known that the best way to see this park was to start on the east side at the information centre and then go through the park. Maybe the clouds would have dispersed by the time a person travelled from east to west.

Picos de Europa Information Centre

Picos de Europa Information Centre

A mountain near the information centre

A mountain near the information centre

We did notice, as we travelled through the park, groups of bicyclists and motorbikes travelling through going from east to west and enjoying the challenging roads.

After touring the information centre we got groceries and drove to our overnight apartment which is near the top of a mountain in a small village. Hopefully the clouds will have cleared in the morning and tomorrow we can share pictures of the sights.

Posted by A-RPoulton 11:11 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 48

Travel from Lugo to Leon

rain 14 °C

Today we woke to an overcast morning. We had breakfast at our hotel and began a drive which we expected to be along the north coast of Spain.

The drive, in fact, was mostly in the mountains. We did catch glimpses of the ocean but as Reta was driving, no pictures were taken.

We stopped and had lunch. We found a vacuum at a service station that we could use on our car so we stopped and gave the front floor mats a treat.

We found that we were again driving through mountains. Reta always visualized Spain as a flat country that grew grapes, olives and oranges. While there are areas that grow those things, it is often hilly or mountainous. This part of Spain is mostly mountainous with scattered little towns.

An impressive mountain peak

An impressive mountain peak

Clouds gathering on the mountain top

Clouds gathering on the mountain top

A lake by the highway with clouds reflected in it

A lake by the highway with clouds reflected in it

Later we stopped for gas for the car. Reta washed the windows as we had many bug hits. Shortly after we left that service station the sky opened up and rain poured down and really did a job on the windows.

We arrived in Leon as the rain began to lessen. We noticed a number of hikers on the "Way of St. James" going along the streets in the south part of Leon as we entered the city. They were all bundled up against the rain.

We found our hotel and were pleased to see a square out of our hotel room window.

The man on the street

The man on the street

The pretty fountain in the middle of the square.  The rain is reflecting light on the street.

The pretty fountain in the middle of the square. The rain is reflecting light on the street.

Tomorrow will again be a travel day with a stop in a national park.

Posted by A-RPoulton 08:41 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

Day 47

The rain in Spain

overcast 17 °C

We had rain and wind all night last night. This morning the rain continued. We are in a part of Spain called Galicia.

So, the "the rain in Spain is mainly on the plain", which is a line from the Broadway Musical and the movie "My Fair Lady" is not totally correct.

Our hostess this morning told us that Galicia is very rainy so this is not unusual. Galicia is very mountainous and has a lot of rugged coastline.

Our room information in Lugo, today, informs us that the Santiago Way is the main Galician Tourist attraction. We only crossed this path once today and it was very close to our hotel.

Our main focus today was to find the Faro de Cabo Ortegal, the lighthouse at the Cape of Ortegal. This was an almost two and one-half hour drive from our last night hotel. This Faro (Lighthouse) has a very dramatic setting. The rain had finally eased off and we could walk to the lighthouse.

This first photo was taken from the car park.

The Faro de Cabo Ortegal or Lighthouse of Cape Ortegal

The Faro de Cabo Ortegal or Lighthouse of Cape Ortegal

We were very impressed by the scenery and rugged coastline. The coastline west of this site has a mountain range which reaches 613 metres in height (2011 feet) and is the most impressive sea cliff, not only in Spain but central Europe. This coastline is also washed by two seas, the Cantabrian Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.

This photo shows waterfalls as they fall off the cliffs and into the ocean.

Waterfalls

Waterfalls

We looked off into the distance and tried to see North America, all we saw was the horizon.

Horizon

Horizon

We took a picture from the lighthouse back towards the car park. The thin white line with a blue dot is the car park. It is very dramatic.

Mountains behind the lighthouse

Mountains behind the lighthouse

After our visit to Cabo Ortegal we drove to Lugo and our lodging for the night.

I must share with you all that we have watched "The Big Bang Theory" in many languages but "BAA ZING GA" is the same in every language.

Posted by A-RPoulton 09:16 Archived in Spain Comments (0)

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