Spain
Spain

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2,063 travelers at this place:

  • Day963

    Over the Pyrenees to Elorrio, España!

    February 14 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 16 °C

    Ahh, España! We are sitting on a wooden bench just a little way down the hill from Martha, overlooking a grassy bank and the white, salmon and ochre painted apartments of Ellorio. It's a well kept area and the sounds of school children playing waft through the air. A gentle breeze is the only thing stopping us from taking our jumpers off and Vicky is even going so far as to bare her legs in a skirt because the sky is clear and sunny and at 18°C it feels warm!

    We are glad to be able to relax as the 150km drive over the Pyrenees wasn't the easiest. With a ferry to catch from Santander in a few days, our time in France had come to an end, so with Will at the wheel and Vicky co-piloting, we left our rural riverside picnic area. Before long we hit the built up environs of industrial looking Bayonne, then seamlessly passed into hectic Biaritz. After this we climbed through the hills to touristy looking Bidart. It was from amongst this white walled resort that we had our first glimpse of the huge Atlantic rollers that attract so many surfers. The Pyranees were still just a distant outline as we left behind the high end surf shacks, signs for Rip Curl and Quicksilver and the boards strapped atop roofracks. Dual language road signs were a good indication we'd entered the Basque region of France, but we concentrated hard on what the sat nav (Aunty Satya) was telling us, not wanting to take the wrong exit at any of the gazillion roundabouts. Will managed to pull over at a roadside boulangerie and pick up our last French stick, returning to the van with the piping hot baguette wrapped in a twist of paper.

    Part way through the town of Irun, Satya announced that we were in Spain and sure enough the language on the signs had changed and little red polka dot flamenco dresses were hanging on rails outside shops. There was no noticeable border, not even the EU symbol announcing entry to a new country. The roads were good and the fuel stations busy, as people took advantage of the lower prices in Spain. During the course of the morning, we'd slowly been nudging the van's blower from hot to cold. By now it was as cool as it would get as the outside temperature had reached 21°C!

    The Pyrenees had been looming gradually larger on the horizon. We began to snake up hillsides and follow the course of rivers to avoid the worst of the climbs. Our ears popped repeatedly as the green hills ahead made it look like we'd soon be surrounded by countryside, but their interlocking bases disguised the meandering ribbon of development following the valley floor.

    As we were overtaken by a motorhome with a hazard plate over their bicycle, it jogged Will's memory and he realised we needed to fit ours in order to comply with Spanish regulations. Luckily we still had it set up from when we'd toured Spain this time last year, so it didn't take too long to get it in place once we'd found somewhere to pull over. It was getting on lunch time so we found a fuel station a bit further on and after topping up with LPG and having the attendent fill our diesel tank, we settled down to a quick van lunch before getting underway again.

    The route wasn't straightforward, with rarely as much as 10km between roundabouts, exits and turnings. Finally we dropped down the other side of the mountains into Antzuola where we were greeted with the comfortable sight of clothes drying on lines strung within the integral balconies of multistorey apartment blocks. It just wasn't something we'd seen much of in France. Intermixed with towns were huge industrial units, but also some signs of the countryside like the shepherd sitting on the crash barrier watching his small flock graze a lush field.

    Finally, signs guided us to the free motorhome aire in Elorrio. While we sat in the cab, looking out on the open aspect of low rise blocks with a part forested hill behind, we felt relieved and elated that we'd made it. After a cuppa and some choux pastry treats Will had bought for Valentine's Day, we sat out on the bench together, taking in the different language of the occasional person who passed. After a while, Will (who still had energy), went off to explore the town. We've become used to French opening hours but as he wandered past the closed shutters of shops on the quiet, paved streets, he realised it would take more than a few days to adjust to the Spanish siesta! A few bars were open within the ochre hued buildings, but he managed to resist, knowing there was some bubbly chilling in the van fridge for later that evening.
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  • Day965

    Arnuero

    February 16 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

    Our stop at Arnuero isn't pretty, but its free and at 45km distance from the Santander ferry port, its just what we need. The aire provides a dedicated tarmac parking area between a main road and a wetland grazed by cows. The clear skies have persisted and an unpleasant aroma wafts over from the cow field as it bakes in the 24°C heat. Its not too bad and we are appreciating our last day of winter warmth!

    On the way here we stopped at a humongous Carrefour supermarket to pick up a few bits, bobs and bottles. While we were getting lost in the aisles that stretched farther than many of the small villages we've stayed in, we kept hearing a dog barking. We ignored it, thinking it was probably a new toy, but on the way out we saw that the complex also sold puppies, that were displayed in glass tanks stacked for prospective buyers to peruse. The practice of selling puppies and kittens like this will soon be illegal in the UK and looking at these poor creatures we could see why.

    Without much to do near the stopover, we didn't feel we were missing out as Vicky began to pack our bags for the ferry and Will took the chance to service the tandem. He took it on a test run to the nearby supermarket and picked up bananas for a vegan eggy bread recipe Vicky was keen to experiment with. There's not much else to tell really; our minds being taken up with tomorrow's sailing and our impending return to the UK, so our last evening on the continent was a quiet one.
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  • Day628

    Barcelona, Spain

    January 24 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 43 °F

    Barcelona – why did we wait so long to visit you?
    Such a beautiful, grand city packed with wonderful restaurants, cafes, shops and remarkable architecture. There was a taxi strike happening for many of the days we were here, but the city is so walkable and the metro so excellent that we didn’t miss the taxis at all.
    Our dear friend Cindy met us here (she also met us in South Africa and Peru making this our 3rd meet-up!) and it was wonderful to catch up and explore the city together.
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  • Day645

    Santa Oliva

    February 10 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 63 °F

    Our last stop in Spain and the end of our explorations of new places was in the tiny village of Santa Oliva located in the heart of cava country and just an hour south of Barcelona.
    We stayed in a beautifully restored 17th century apartment and enjoyed a daytrip to Tarragona – a world heritage site known for its impressively preserved Roman ruins.
    Most of our time here was spent cooking in, trying new cavas and savoring
    the final week of our travels before we return to the US and begin a farewell tour across the country. It’s been a wonderful time in Spain and we will be back!
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  • Day964

    Elorrio, Day 2

    February 15 in Spain ⋅ 🌙 11 °C

    Day 2 at Ellorio dawned clear and bright. Night time temperatures hadn't even dropped to single figures so our heating soon clicked off once the sun rose above the hill. We enjoyed a slow start to the day, leaving our coats behind and wandering down to town around half ten.

    Locals went about their morning business, but the wide, pedestrian streets were in no way crowded. We mooched around the Chinese bazaar that sold tools, tea towels and everything in between. These businesses had been a real fixture on our 3 month tour of Spain last year. A few shops spilled out onto the pavement with a stall or two of goods but most were content to let customers come to them. We passed a fruit shop, butchers, fishmongers, a hardware and a few clothes shops whilst looking for the tourist information office, where we could get tokens for the van service point. Our Spanish is very rusty so we were glad when the attendant spoke reasonably good English, despite the main foreign language here being French. As well as the free tokens, they gave us a map of the surrounding area, pointing out a nearby medieval burial site and a rural walk we might like to explore. We asked about restaurants that may offer vegetarian food and they pointed out several eateries where we could enquire, but no specific recommendations were allowed.

    Arriving at Xara (the smallest of the three establishments) a friendly husband and wife team had set up tables outside and a mouth watering array of pintxos (Basque tapas) on the bar. They said they only had one veg dish and recommended the larger restaurants round the corner. We scouted these out but being before 1pm, they weren't yet into the swing of lunchtime and lacked the character and warmth of Xara's, so we returned. As is customary in Basque country, all tapas came with bread. The chef cooked Vicky a special plate of tempura peppers and pointed out the counter top tapas that hadn't got meat, including the ones with ham, because jamon isn't really meat is it?! We sat in the sun with our plates, rioja for Will and an Amstel for Vicky- bliss!

    After nipping back to the van for sunscreen and a bottle of water, we began the walk to find the necropolis. Leaving the town behind on a country lane we heard rustles in piles of dry leaves and soom spotted Italian Wall Lizards sunbathing on a dry stone wall. Argiñeta Necropolis sat on a grassy slope beside San Adrián hermitage; a humble sandstone building with an overreaching terracotta roof, providing shade around the perimeter. The site was low key, with no signs or information boards. A rectangular border of gravestone shaped slabs enclosed 21 aligned sarcophagi, five of them with headstones called stelae. These were replicas but the 13 originals could be seen within the hermitage, by peaking through an iron grating covering a small cutout in the solid, dark wood door. The site is thought to have come into being between the 7th and 9th centuries and the carvings on the stellae are thought to be the oldest examples of Christian inscription in the area, perhaps even the whole Basque country. We were the only ones there and loved being able to explore this peaceful site.

    Back home we took advantage of the warm sun behind the van to apply the second of our VnWTravels decals. We really enjoy writing this blog and creating content for our YouTube channel and Facebook page so we wanted to add our name to the van to make it stand out and hopefully reach more people (even though we are half expecting ranting messages from drivers unlucky enough to have been stuck behind us!)

    The evening was spent watching locals exercise their dogs on the grass bank. Vicky was so happy to have been well enough to get out and explore today. Part of the reason we are returning to the UK is for a procedure that will hopefully improve her health so she can really make the most of our travels!

    On the last morning, she nipped down to Elorrio to fetch bread, passing individuals and pairs carrying mops, buckets, brooms, dustpans and feather dusters, who seemed to be congregating at a hall, perhaps for some big community cleanup. We enjoy seeing gimpses of local life such as this, but most of the time view it through the lens of everyday. Normalising it is perhaps a coping mechanism, because as Vicky walked along past the rustic Spanish townhouses, a sense of enormity about where we were and what we were doing hit her. The excitement and privilage of being able to see this as an everyday experience was overwhelming. Life on the road isn't for everyone, but we really love and appreciate being able to do what we are doing right now.
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  • Day639

    Cadaques

    February 4 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 50 °F

    After saying farewell to Cindy until we meet her again in Philadelphia in a few weeks, we drove the narrow mountain road to Cadaques. We rented a Fiat 500 and are so glad to have such a tiny car on these very tiny roads. Sometimes, even the tiny Fiat barely fit down the little lanes.
    While it must be insanely busy during summer, it was wonderfully quiet during our visit. We spent our time wandering the narrow, medieval streets, walking along the shoreline and visiting the impressive Rodes Monastery with expansive views of the coast. Salvador Dali had a home here and did many paintings of the area - unfortunately his house, which is now a museum, was closed for winter.Read more

  • Day630

    El Port de la Selva

    January 26 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

    We splurged on a beautifully designed house overlooking the sea and rugged, rocky coast and spent much of our time cooking together, enjoying gin & tonics and cava while admiring the view.
    We did manage to visit the Dali museum, do a little hiking and explore Cadaques together as well.

  • Day643

    Girona

    February 8 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

    Girona is a beautiful city steeped in history having been ruled by Rome, the Visigoths, Moors, Charlemagne, and others. Wandering through the medieval streets showing layers of consecutive inhabitants, it’s a wonderful place to visit. You can still walk much of the city’s original walls and its cathedral has the second largest nave after Rome.
    We also visited some neighboring villages including Banyoles for a walk around its scenic lake, and Besalu which is one of the cutest little towns we’ve visited so far with a beautiful bridge as the highlight.
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  • Day148

    139. Etappe: A Cabana

    November 27, 2018 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    Der Tag startete heute mit einer Videotelefonie um Franzis Mama ein Geburtstagsständchen zu trällern 🎶
    An dieser Stelle noch einmal alles Liebe und Gute 🎁🎈
    Unser heutiger Etappenstart läutete die letzten 100 km nach Santiago ein. Auch wenn der Himmel grau und wolkenverhangen war, kamen wir heut ohne Regen durch unsere Tour. Auch heute zeigte sich Galizien im prächtigen Herbstgewand und schickte uns immer wieder abwechselnd entlang an Flüssen, über Waldwege, Straßen und durch die kleinsten Orte.
    Nach 28,3 km erreichen wir unser Ziel. Während Franzi gerade erst auf Betriebstemperatur gekommen ist, ist der Pilgergrünschnabel heilfroh, als wir vor der Herberge stehen. Eine brandneue Pilgerherberge, die in diesem Jahr neu eröffnet hat. So wie es aussieht, werden wir aber auch diese heute allein beziehen.
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  • Day149

    140. Etappe: Boimorto

    November 28, 2018 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 9 °C

    Sonnig starteten wir in den heutigen Pilgertag, auch wenn es leider keinen Kaffee zum Frühstück gab. 😓
    Nach gut der Hälfte der gelaufenen Tagesetappe legten wir deshalb auch eine ausgiebige Kaffee-/Bocadillo-Pause ein. Obwohl wir aufgegessen haben, verließ uns wenig später die Sonne und für die letzten 1,5 Stunden durfte sich Daniel über seine erste Regenwanderung freuen. Klatschnass kommen wir in der sehr neuen modernen galicischen Herberge an. Und nach eine von den Hospitalieras erbetenen "Beschwerde" kommt prompt ein Techniker, der die bis dato eiskalten Heizkörper in Gang bringt. Also wird es heute wieder eine mollig warme Nacht. Jedoch könnte das mit dem Schlaf eng werden, denn die Hospitaliera hat ordentlich Kaffee für uns bereitgestellt, den wir nach dem kaffeearmen Start sehr dankend angenommen haben.Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Kingdom of Spain, Spanien, Spanish State, ስፔን, 스페인, ܐܣܦܢܝܐ, สเปน, スペイン, 에스파냐, ສະເປນ, እስፓንያ, ସ୍ପେନ୍, អេស្ប៉ាញ, ประเทศสเปน, An Spáinn, An Spàinn, Caxtillan, Esipaɲi, Esipanye, Espaañ, Espagne, Èspagne, Espaina, Espainia, España, Espangne, Espanha, Espania, Espanja, Espánjja, Espanya, Espânye, Espay, Estado Español, Hesperia, Hisipaniya, Hispaania, Hispania, Hispanio, Hispanujo, Hiszpania, Isbeyn, Ispagna, i-Spain, Ispaña, Ispanija, İspaniya, İspanya, Ispuanii, la Madre Patria, La pell de brau, La piel de toro, Nsipani, Orílẹ́ède Sipani, Pain, Paniora, Pāniora, Regne d'Espanya, Reino de España, sangue, Sbaen, Sepania, Sepanyol, Sepeni, Sipeini, Sipen, Sipeyini, Spagn, Spagna, Spagne, Spain, Španělsko, Spania, Spánia, Spania nutome, Španielsko, Španija, Spānija, Španiska, Spanja, Spanje, Spanjë, Španjolska, Spánn, Spanya, Spanyän, Spanyol, Spanyolország, Spayn, Spen, Spēna, Spéonland, Spēonland, Spuenien, Szpańskô, Tây Ban Nha, Uhispania, Yn Spaainey, أسبانيا, إسبانيا, اسبانيا, اسپانیا, اسپین, ہسپانیہ, سپین, هسپانیه, ئیسپانیا, ئىسپانىيە, ספרד, שפאניע, Ισπανία, Гішпанія, Испани, Испания, Испониё, Іспанія, Шпанија, སི་པན།, སིཔཱེན, སིཔཱེན་, Իսպանիա, ესპანეთი, स्पेन, સ્પેઇન, સ્પેન, స్పేన్, ಸ್ಪೈನ್, ஸ்பெயின், സ്പെയിന്‍, স্পেন, စပိန်, ස්පාඤ්ඤය, 西班牙

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