- Start of my personal journey!
- Life on the edge of the lake!
- In the Alps!
- Life on the edge of the lake!
- Last few days in Switzerland. Spain, here I come!
- Arrival in Barcelona
- First day of the tour!
- Exploring Barcelona city
- Petty Theft and Roman Relics!
- Hemingway, bulls, Bayonne and crummy French motel
- From topless bathing to Basque culture
- Art and non-art, tapas and pintxos
- Spain out of World Cup; King abdicates!
- Fiesta in Leon
- Glimpse of Lisbon and Cataplana in Coimbra
- A glimpse into pilgrims and hostals
- Stuck in parking garage in Madrid?
- Breakfast, culture and dinner feasts!
- Hanging houses and crazy plazas
- Don Quichote’s world
- Moors, Christians, Romans and ‘chiringuitos’
- Sinfully delightful day on the beach!
- Dancing in a cave with the gypsies!
- Dining with dockworkers and police!
- Beautiful city!
- End of the journey
- ‘Bon Dia!’ Portugal, ‘Hola!̶
- Parking, port and Porto!
- Oysters, sardines and plastic hammers!
We left early morning to go back to the Province of Biscay (Basque country) in Spain. We stopped at San Sebastian for a great view of its famous beach called La Playa de la Concha. We drove along the promenade past elegant buildings reminiscent of the 19th century when the town was Spain’s most fashionable resort.
Our next major stop was Bilbao, the capital of Basque Province of Vizcaya, with the spectacular Guggenheim Museum. We were awed by the audacity of the Canadian-born architect Frank Gehry in creating such an incredible structure, outside and inside.
Unfortunately the permanent display hall was closed till late afternoon, but we could look at the two top floors’ exhibitions. I loved the works by Georges Braque who was great friends with Picasso. His works were classified according to different styles of works produced in different periods of his life. What I liked in particular was the series of music instrument paintings (during a Cubism epoch).
What shall I say about Yoko Ono’s ‘art’ or rather ‘non-art’? We endured a movie with her screeching and making guttural sounds while two people attempted to make the most horrible sounds on fancy guitars (sawing at the strings with a thick file!) We then saw a close-up of a cockroach crawling over the guitar. The action moved to the top of a grand piano with her and the other artist making obscene moves till they embraced in artistic delight. Mama Mia!
Maryln and I had some pintxos for lunch while Herb and Judy reported to have had the most delicious crepes at a small restaurant across the road! The coastal Basque area has its own folklore, txikiteo (social time with friends) txakoli (Basque wine) and national sport, Pelota. San Sebastian has their own take on tapas, small plates of food called pintxos (Basque tapas). A tapa is an individual serving, while a racion is a small plate.
We were ready for the drive to Miranda de Ebro, a city on the Ebro river in the province of Burgos in the autonomous community of Castile and León, Spain where we booked into a fabulous four-star hotel Ciudad de Miranda. Maryln and I decided to eat at the hotel’s very stylish restaurant set up in a train behind the hotel. We had the most scrumptious lamb and steak and a small bottle of white wine from the nearby Province of La Rioja.