Joined April 2018 Message
  • Day51

    Hondarribia

    May 29, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ☁️ 16 °C

    Had a quiet day in Hondarribia. The rain has eased up but it is still cool. Pat and Col went for a walk while Lou had a sleep in. The walled town where we are staying is very picturesque. It is a quiet and sleepy little place, ideal for a rest before the train trip tomorrow. Again, Hondarriba is situated on an inlet, however the other side is the French town of Hendaye from where we'll catch the train to Paris and connect to London.Read more

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  • Day50

    Bus to Hondarribia

    May 28, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    A nice sleep in then checked out of the hotel. Caught the bus into the town then the bus to Hondarribia. Misty rain all day and not that pleasant. Hotel Palacete was only a short walk from the bus stop and is in the old walled town. Hotel is in the style of an old palace but is just 50 years old. The first appearance of the old town is very nice despite the weather. We all had a crab scrambled egg for lunch at a pub around the corner. Found some dinner a bit later in town then off to bed.Read more

  • Day49

    San Sebastian Day 4 Trip to Pasaia

    May 27, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    With no car now, we decided to take a day trip to Pasaia in the bus. This is another little inlet hamlet about 6 kilometres from SS. The day started a bit drizzly and stayed much the same all day. As we got to Pasaia we were stopped by a local street parade. Had a great view of it all from the back of the bus. When we got off the bus there were crowds of people being a Sunday. We were surprised to find a three masted sailing ship in the harbour. The Hermione is an exact replica ship and was quite spectacular. The queue to get the bum boat to the other side of the harbour was too long so we walked up to the harbour mouth then back for a bite at a little restaurant. The little village across the inlet is just perched on one road at the base of a hill. Victor Hugo was once a resident and there is a small museum to him there. It was quite entertaining watching the passing parade of Spanish day trippers many of whom take their dogs on or off their leads. In fact the Spanish seem to be great dog lovers and have them even despite the apartment living. Most of these dogs are small breeds but not all so it must get cosy at home. Anyway, it is great to see and testimony to the nice nature's of the Spanish in general.Read more

  • Day48

    San Sebastian Day 3

    May 26, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

    Big storm overnight with lots of thunder and lightning (all very frightening!!) We started the day by taking the car back to Avis. Just before we left the hotel, a bus slipped off the wet roads just down the road and caused a big back up of traffic. It cleared quite quickly and we got going in the car. After dropping it off we walked the length of the promenade into the old town. The sun came out and Lou and I decided to walk up to the castle fort on the headland. Pat was not up to it and stayed in town for a bite to eat. It was quite a walk up to the top of the hill but worth it for the view. Caught up with Pat again at the bottom of the hill and went off for a pinxtos and beer lunch.
    That night we could not be bothered going back into town so we ordered in some Thai. Not bad.
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  • Day47

    San Sebastian Day 2

    May 25, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    Slow start again but finally headed off into the countryside in the car for some exploring. First visited a cider museum where we learnt all about the local cider history and industry. Moderately interesting; the best part was when they serve you a cider from the barrel. The lady explained that when the new cider is ready everybody gathers and the barrel spout is opened releasing a jet of cider into the recipients glass 6 feet across the room. Well Pat was the first recipient in our group and he did quite well catching the cider, except for the bit on his sleeve!!! We then tried some from another barrel and discussed the merits of each. Then we tried 3 more apple based apperitifs and by then I needed some breakfast....
    Then off to find a place recommended by the tourist office which was a greenway up along a valley. Again we managed with the help of poor instructions and misreading of maps to go in entirely the wrong direction. Two hours later we found the place and went for a nice walk along the river. Lovely scenery in which Pat managed to get into almost every photo. We also saw many wild strawberries again. They are unbelievably pretty and apparently quite common. Very new and delightful for us though.
    For dinner went down to an area closer to the hotel where we managed to find some pretty ordinary food but enjoyed our little walk around.
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  • Day46

    San Sebastian Day 1

    May 24, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 17 °C

    A bit slow getting going this morning, but after breakfast in the hotel we headed off in the car to explore the coast. Took the coastal route west from the hotel along a narrow and twisty road along the cliff tops. Very pretty and spectacular. Arrived in a little village called Getaria where we had lunch and a walk around town. After a drive back to the hotel and a rest, we caught the bus into town for a bite to eat. Tried to find a proper meal, but finally settled on pinxtos and a beer in the old quarter. Quite a buzzy atmosphere with all the people at the many bars. Bussed it home again about 9:30. San Sebastian is a large town which comprises a new and old part. It is built on two beautiful bays/beaches, La Concha being the main one. The bay is protected by a curving high headland and Santa Clara island in the entrance to the bay. There is an opposite headland below which the old town nestles very gracefully. The town is overlooked by a statue of the Sacred Heart and a fortified castle.Read more

  • Day45

    Back to San Sebastian

    May 23, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Today we have our big drive up to San Sebastian to meet up with Pat. After a muesli breakfast in our room we checked out of the hotel and headed off in the car. After a couple of times around the block to even get out of the hotel precinct we found the motorway. Of course we then missed a turn off and found our selves on the wrong motorway. After a bit of arguing with Mrs Google Maps we finally got back on track and headed north. As for the trip down, the drive is quite magnificent. Great roads and superb scenery all the way. With the 120kph speed limit the kms flew past. We took a diversion about half way into a town called....where we found a cafe in the plaza.
    Arrived at the Hotel Leku Eder in the late arvo and checked in. It is a delightful place set high on a hill a couple of kms out of town and with great views. After a bit of a rest we set off to pick up Pat from the bus station. Got him back to the hotel then after a cup of tea and a chat we sent him off to bed. The stress of the last few days finally caught up with us and we collapsed into bed absolutely shattered. Zzzzzzzzzzz
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  • Day44

    Madrid and the Embassy day 2

    May 22, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    We had to wait until 3pm to pick up our emergency passports so this meant staying another night in Madrid. Went to reception to extend the stay only to be told the price of the room had gone fron 79 Euro to 290 Euro for that night. After going back to reception they felt sorry of our situation and gave us the room for 169 euro.
    Decided to use the hop on off bus for the day and headed off downtown on it. Got off in the centro again and had a wander around then back up to the embassy to get the passports. Took the metro which we thought stopped close by. It was a bit further away than we thought and it was raining so had to taxi the last bit. Walked back the hotel then metro again back downtown. Took the tourist bus again but it got caught in traffic so got off and walked. Found dinner at a local restaurant that did local food. Filling but not that exciting. Back to the hotel for an early night before our next big drive. The main square in old Madrid was very beautiful, huge even by European standards and very buzzy. We found a market adjacent to the square which was more like freestanding food stalls. It was really fun and the food and drink was so different and tasty. We got a plate of padron peppers which are like tiny green capsicums lightly fried in garlic olive oil and sprinkled with rock salt. The coffees and cakes were lovely too!
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  • Day43

    Madrid and the Embassy

    May 21, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    Up early to get to the embassy as early as possible. Nice walk of about 15 minutes up the road. Embassy is on 24th floor off an office tower. Security was extreme even to get into the lobby of the building. Had to wait a bit to see anyone (a nice scottish girl) only to be told we needed to get passport photos and the nearest place was back near the hotel. We were able to fill in all the forms before leaving and only had to drop the photos back later that day. Walked back and got the photos done then back to drop them off. Had a rest before heading off to have a look at Madrid centro. Worked out how to use the metro then off downtown. Madrid is an elegant city but lots of people out and about. Wandered the streets trying to find food that was not Tapas. Finally found a little place that did a reasonable meal then back to the hotel on the metro. Noticed that lots of people smoke in Spain; the cigarettes are very cheap.Read more

  • Day42

    Off to Bilbao and Madrid

    May 20, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    A nice day for a drive..
    First to Bilbao airport to change the car. About an hour to get there. Avis were very good and gave us another Merc the same as the one we had but brand new with only 9 km on the clock.
    We went into the airport to use the wifi to find accommodation in Madrid then hit the road. About 400 km to Madrid. About a 5 hour drive. Spectacular drive all the way on great roads and wonderful scenery.
    Got lost getting to hotel as usual but eventually made it. Nice room and bed. Walked down the road to find some dinner then off to bed in anticipation of our visit to the embassy in the morning.
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