Spain
Basque Country

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Top 10 Travel Destinations Basque Country

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  • Day19

    Gaztelugatxe, Spain

    June 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Gaztelugatxe is an islet on the coast of Biscay belonging to the municipality of Bermeo, Basque Country (Spain). It is connected to the mainland by a man-made bridge. On top of the island stands a hermitage (named Gaztelugatxeko Doniene in Basque; San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Spanish), dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 10th Century, although discoveries indicate that the date might be the 9th Century.
    The walk there was quite easy and the views spectacular. The walk back not as enjoyable as the second half of the return journey was all uphill. However, it was well worth the exhaustion!
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  • Day18

    San Sebastian

    June 9, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    San Sebastian - 9 and 10 June
    We stayed just outside the Old Town of San Sebastian (about a 20 minute easy walk). Two nights here. San Sebastian is the city that invented the pintxos, the local word for small bar bites otherwise known as tapas - a meal in miniature, usually placed on a piece of bread. 
    You can either order from a hot menu or you fill your plate from the many choices of cold food lining the bar. We did a bit of both. It was great fun and delicious. So much so that we went there again the next night.

    San Sebastián is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque bayfront promenade, and world-renowned restaurants managed by innovative chefs. Its old town (Parte Vieja) is cobblestoned and has upscale shops next to the colourful pintxo bars. There is a real party atmosphere here - I can see how popular it must be in Summer with the beautiful beaches and more bars per square metre than anywhere else on Earth (so it is claimed).

    For spectacular views, you can walk to the top of Monte Urgull, at the tip of town, surrounded by low castle walls that circle a grand statue of Christ or, as we did, take the old-world funicular railway to the Parque de Atracciones (amusement park).
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  • Day38

    Bergisches Bilbao, Baskenland

    October 10, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

    Die letzten beiden Tage waren wir in Bilbao. Eine Stadt die zwar nicht weit weg von der Küste liegt, aber umgeben von Bergen ist. Die Straßenzüge sind teilweise so steil, dass es mich ein wenig an San Francisco erinnert hat :P Der Bauraum ist dementsprechend sehr begrenzt und alles wirkt ziemlich gequetscht, was man auf Bildern aber kaum rüber bringen kann. Neben seinem Fußballverein ist Bilbao außerdem für sein Guggenheim Museum der modernen Kunst bekannt. Ich muss gestehen, wir können uns zwar beide für recht viel begeistern, aber wenn mir jemand erklären möchte, dass hinter einer schwarzen Leinwand mit einer weißen Ecke mehr Bedeutung steckt, als dass dem Maler die Farbe ausgegangen ist, fehlt mir einfach die Kreativität :P Da das Museum für Arbeitslose jedoch umsonst ist, haben wir es nochmal versucht uns für die Kunst der Moderne begeistern zu lassen und ich muss sagen, so schlecht war es gar nicht. Zum Beispiel befand sich im Museum eine Ausstellung von Thomas Struth einem Düsseldorfer, der erstaunlich viele Bilder vom Kölner Dom ausgestellt hat - Köln ist halt eben doch die schönere Stadt! Auch wenn man vermutlich diesen Fotografien im Postkartenformat in einem Kiosk wenig Aufmerksamkeit beigemessen hätte. Was uns aber beeindruckt hat waren die unserschiedlichen Herstellungsverfahren der einzelnen Kunstwerke. So sind die auf dem Titelbild dargestellten Lollipop-Tulpen beispielsweise ziemlich aufwendig aus Stahl gefertigt, wiegen Tonnen und sehen federleicht aus 😃👍Read more

  • Day82

    viva espana

    October 13, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 25 °C

    vorweg genommen; wir sind in spanien angekommen; genau genommen im baskenland. die küste war sehr malerisch und zeitweise hätte man meinen können wir sind in einem schnulzefilm von katie fforde. weiter gings durch die für sonntag leicht hektische grenzstadt irun. leider konnten wir beim spanien-schild nicht halten; es war unmittelbar vor einem doppelkreisel und verklebt. dann ab in die ausläufer der pyrenäen. sieht fast so aus wie im emmental nur leider viel steiler. in astigarraga angekommen sind wir in die reservierte pension (danke jean-pierre), haben alles eingerichtet, füsse gestreckt und schon klopfte es wieder. der chef persönlich kam vorbei und hat uns angewiesen, die fahrräder in seinem keller anzustellen aus sicherheitsgründen. die fahrräder stehen nun zwischen antiquitäten und kunstgegenständen. fazit: wir sind sehr freundlich in spanien empfangen wordenRead more

  • Jun1

    Things are looking up, cont'd

    June 1, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 24 °C

    Needless to say, we slept well in San Sebastián on Thursday night. Friday’s walk included a few climbs through shady paths and would have been much more enjoyable if we hadn’t been wiped out from the day before. Met some nice American folks from CA and MT — most others we’ve met have been French, German or Dutch. The last couple of miles (photo #1) were on a rocky path we guessed was an old Roman road — the Romans settled a lot of this area and mined extensively.

    Spent Friday night in a comfortable hotel in the little town of Orio, looked after by the nice folks in photo #3.

    So today is Saturday, and we’re in Zumaia after a great walk along the coast. We passed through two lovely fishing villages and even enjoyed our first chocolate croissants! The walk from Zauratz to Getaria was along a 2.17-mile seaside promenade (you can just make it out in photo #8).

    Looking forward to a good meal, another good night’s sleep, and a short walk tomorrow to Deba (where we’ll sleep in an Albergue in an old train station — John is quite excited about that).
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  • Day4

    Sunny, beautiful and HARD walk

    June 6, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    Today we thought we had about 23 kms, turns out it was 26.5. But it wasn’t the distance, it was the ascents. About 1200 m elevation gain, seemed much tougher than yesterday.

    The weather was just glorious, sunny with occasional clouds and in the 60s. Mostly on mountain trails, all very well marked. The steady stream of unbelievable views was pretty great.

    Because of lack of accommodation, we had to detour 300 m down to a very pretty little village named Errezil. We have rooms in a nice guest house, Casa Letea,

    Tomorrow another 25 or so with more huge elevation gain, another 1000 or so. And lots of descent as well, which is awful on the knees. Another great weather forecast as well! No complaints from this very content Peregrina.
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  • Day9

    Long day to Salinillas

    June 11, 2019 in Spain ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    Yesterday in Vitoria was great. We had an absolutely fantastic 13€ menu at El Gautxo It’s a beautiful old town, and the cathedral tour takes you down to the foundations and shows you all the foundation work and where the old city was. It was really fun.

    Today was a VERY long day, 45.6 km long to be exact. But here we are in an Albergue in Salinillas de Burandon, an old 14th century walled town. It is still technically in País Vasco, but its wine is eligible for Rioja denomination. The Albergue owner (a young guy with a Che patch on his pants) gave us a bottle of his family’s wine and we are enjoying it with our chorizo and cheese sandwiches. We carried up the sandwiches from the town 10 km back.

    My knee seems to be almost totally recuperated. We had one very steep descent today and I was not in pain!!!!

    Tomorrow about 30 km to Santo Domingo de la Calzada, and we hope to catch a couple of buses that will get us to Aguilar de Campoo, where we start the Olvidado and more mountains await!
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  • Day6

    Short day, pretty country, sore knee

    June 8, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 11 °C

    We had a very short day, the end of the mountain alternative. Almost all of the walk was either in a beech forest or along a ridge with views of the mountain pass we will go through tomorrow. We are in a nice pension with the best meal of the trip so far. Highlight was mussels in Idiazabal cheese sauce (a Basque cheese, one of my favorites).

    My right knee is complaining on the descents. I am doing some stretches, icing it, and taking ibuprofen Fingers crossed.

    Weather got very cloudy this afternoon but were hoping for a dry day.
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  • May28

    Things are looking up!

    May 28, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    We’ve had a tough few days. Our flights into Paris were smooth, had a 4-hour layover before our train, then almost missed our connection in Bordeaux. Had to run for the train! Arrived in Hendaye, France, and walked into Irun, Spain.

    Our first day’s walk on Thursday started out well. We had a tough climb up Mt. Jazkibel, but we were rewarded with great views and a beautiful walk through quiet pastures.

    Halfway down the mountain, we ran into 2 Frenchwomen who raved about the “breathtaking” alternate route along the coastline. They convinced us to take it. Well, it was breathtaking, all right — but we thought it was our last breaths we were taking! We ended up climbing on a rocky path just wide enough for our feet, with huge rocks on one side and a sheer drop on the other. In several places we had to hold onto wire cables attached to the rocks. A couple of hours later (seemed like a week), we finally got down to the road. John wanted to hunt down those two Frenchwomen and give them hell!

    If you look at the last photo, we were waaaaay up there by the brown rocks. Wish I’d taken a pic of the path itself, but we were just trying to keep from going over the side!
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  • Jun4

    Basque Country

    June 4, 2019 in Spain ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

    No WiFi for a couple of days — sorry!

    We’ve been traveling in Basque Country these 6 days. It’s an autonomous part of Spain with very strong cultural ties. The Basque language isn’t related to any other linguistic group, so many of the signs here are in Basque and Spanish.

    It’s a mountainous region of cattle and sheep farms, pine forestry and eucalyptus forests. Our daily stages have been pretty tough, with lots of climbs and descents each day over a variety of surfaces — cobbles, clay, gravel, and soft forest paths. The houses are beautiful (see photos), with window boxes of geraniums and colorful yards — very prosperous.

    Fewer pilgrims than on the Camino Frances, but still a United Nations of folks: French, Dutch, Icelandic, Czech, German, American. Tonight there are 8 people we’ve met on the trail, all staying at this same hotel.

    Weather has been gorgeous, warmest day 82, mist days in the 60’s, a nice cool wind blowing. But looks like rain tomorrow.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa, Baskenland, Basque Country, País Basc, País Vasco, Euskadi, Pays Basque, Paesi Baschi, パイス・バスコ, 바스크 지방, Baskarland, Baskerland, Страна Басков, Baskien

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