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Portugal & Northern Spain trip – #12

January 13th, 2015 · No Comments · Musings, photo of the week, Spain & Portugal 2014, travel, Walking

So, where were we?

Well, it certainly has been too long since I continued telling you about our amazing trip, isn’t it?  Now, what got in the way?  The holidays, renovating two bathrooms (down to the studs and structural issues – that’s a multi-entry story in and of itself!), and an unplanned surgery!  I began to feel not so well right after arriving home from this trip, and as it got worse and finally became an emergency room visit in late November, it all resolved itself by becoming a gall bladder removal event in late December!  I’m well on the road to feeling my old self again, and thought I’d finish blogging this trip!   I’m never sure anyone is reading it, but it serves as a diary of our trips for ourselves as well.

So, upon leaving Santiago, it was a long day on the bus.  Started out rainy, but eventually become sunny and warm – very nice indeed!  The stop this night was at a beautiful parador in Leon.  We had lunch on our own which turned out to be great fun.  We walked a few blocks from the hotel, and went into a tiny little place where no English was in use, and we had to guess our way through.  It was obvious that it was very local with regulars whose bottles of wine were brought out to them to go with their lunch!  A walking tour of the old town, and then a big dinner at the parador.

Our next long day on the bus included Santander.  I remember liking it, but unfortunately it was one of those days that did not get written about in my travel journal!  Oh well!

Finally we arrive in Bilboa.  A beautiful city on the river. We had a great walking tour of the old city with an amazing guide (Sergio), and then were dropped off at the Guggenheim where we had a guided tour.  We were on our own for the afternoon and chose to walk about the rest of the museum – inside and out.  Folks talk of how it’s so unusual and sticks out, which is done if all you do is look at it on its own.  But look at what surrounds it and it is a piece of a city becoming an amazing architectural event.  Each bridge is incredible, and so many buildings and parks are expressions of what materials can do to create wonderful spaces to live and work in.

We liked Bilboa a lot and speak of going back there, renting an apartment and living there for three or four weeks.   We were there for two nights and each night enjoyed a wonderful walk along the river.

We also visited the Fine Arts Museum on our own for the afternoon.  A real treasure.  Our dinner was in a resturant in the Guggenheim.

St. James and I outside the parador in Leon

St. James and I outside the parador in Leon


The menu in Leon where we had lunch.


Hubby got to have a conversation with Gaudi. One of the homes he designed is in Leon.


Some of the Spanish countryside we saw throughout our trip – taken from the bus.


An amazing footbridge that crosses the river in Bilbao


Our short stay in Bilbao included a fair amount of rain. This is a wonderful shot of the Guggenheim from the bus.






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