Blogs from Guernica, Basque Country, Spain, Europe


Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica March 10th 2013

Many places around the world are known for the terrible things which have happened there. When you think of atrocities in Spain, most people immediately think of Guernica and it's a place we had wanted to visit ever since we moved to the North of Spain. Although we had been disappointed with Picasso's painting when we saw it in Madrid 8 years ago, seeing it reproduced in the woods of Zilbati as an environmental protest restored our interest in the subject. On 26 April 1937 the town was the subject of a massive aerial attack. This was carried out by German and Italian bombers under the orders of Generalisimo Franco. The result was widespread destruction and large numbers of civilian deaths. Spain was engulfed in its bitter civil war and this was an attempt to gain ... read more
Peace talks

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica March 10th 2013

A short drive from Guernika we found one of the most extraordinary sights we have seen on Northern Spain - the Painted Forest of Oma. To get there we had to park up in the small village of Lezika where we had lunch at the restaurant. If you have time you can also visit the url= Caves. We didn't have enough time but it looks like there are some impressive cave paintings inside. From there you have to proceed on foot. We decided to walk up through the forest of Oma instead of taking the low road to the village of the same name. It was an easy to follow footpath and is quite well maintained. The only danger at the moment is the number of processional caterpillars. ... read more
People in the trees
Forest views

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica April 8th 2009

Day 9 Monday 6th April Up bright and early but still not as early as our German friends who were up and gone before sunrise. We packed up and made our way down the road to the bakery where we had a coffee and toast (I know.. coffee... coming around to the dark side...) and a chocolate croissant, as well as getting some snacks for the day. While very scenic, it was a fairly unremarkable day, with us arriving at Larrabetzu just before 3pm. We planned on camping somewhere between Larrabetzu and the next town Lezama, but we arrived during siesta and so there were no shops open to buy supplies for dinner. So we headed to the pub where we played cards until 4pm, when we then found out that the supermarket didn´t re-open ... read more
Semi-enjoying a cup of coffee... still not as good as milo!
Picasso mural in Gernika
Grafitti wall in Gernika

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica April 6th 2009

Day 8 Sunday 5th April Up bright and early with a monk delivering us breakfast - coffee and baguette slices. I swear I will start to look like a baguette by the time this trip is over..! The coffee was cold and the bread a little stale, and hence a little let-down after the super meal the night before, but definitely better than no breakfast at all (or even yesterday's breakfast for that matter!) We set off at about 8.30am, being the last of the pilgrims to hit the road. The 18km day was a relatively good one with only moderate climbs and descents, and a definite improvement in my pain levels, and hence whole attitude. Lauren seemed to think that a lot of my arch pain in my feet was due to my gumby ... read more
So cute!
Bulls block the way... hence we took a detour through a neighbouring paddock instead!

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica September 22nd 2008

Yesterday was the International Day of Peace and we started it by visiting the Museum of Peace in Gernika- The ETA spent it setting off 3 bombs, the closest to us was in Ondarroa, 30 km from where we are staying. The Gernika Peace Museum was inspired by the bombing of Gernika on April 26, 1937. On that day Hitler ordered, with the permission of Franco, the first-ever saturation bombing raids on a civilian center. The city was destroyed and more than 1600 people were killed, many while attending the weekly market that is still held each Monday in the main plaza. The museum focuses on the lesson in peace taught by the survivors of the bombing through their reconciliation with their attackers, in addition to other instances of reconciliation and mediation for peace ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica September 20th 2008

We have been in Spain for 6 days now and it is time to post an update. We arrived in Barcenlona on Monday the 15th and rented our car and found our first B&B with relative ease. We stayed for 4 nights at El Moli, an agri tourisimo (a B&B on a working farm) in the tiny village of Siurana, north of Girona in the region of Catalonia. While there we enjoyed a day on the Cap de Creus which is a cape north of Roses that has many coves and villages and also a natural park. The road on the cape was narrow and winding but we had beautiful views and enjoyed hiking out on the rocky coast of the Mediterranean. We stopped in the village of Port Ligat where Salvador Dali's home is now ... read more
El Moli
El Moli
Cap de Creus

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica May 27th 2008

I´m getting closer to the "Camino de Santiago," the famous pilgrimage across Northern Spain that I´m planning to trek... Now I´m in Basque Territory, visiting the brother-in-law of my good friend, Christi. Ivan´s brother, David, and his wife, Liz, have been hosting me at their house near Gernika for the last couple of days, about 20 miles east of Bilbao. They have a 10-month old baby boy named Iñigo. David is from Seattle, and Liz is from Vancouver, Canada, so it´s nice to hang with English-speaking people again. David and Liz have been living in Spain for 2 years now. They are building a home on acreage with a view of the Atlantic Ocean (see photos). While they wait to get permits, they have a temporary cabin on the property. They also have an apartment nearby. ... read more
Bilbao - Zubizuri pedestrian bridge
Between Gernika & Bilbao
Liz, David and Iñiko Mendoza

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica February 19th 2008

Aupa everyone! I hope this blog finds you all well :) It´s been a very interesting week as far as getting to know the politics of Basque country, as well as getting to know the history of the region, especially after a visit to Guernica and a trip through the rural Basque country side. Just like back home, elections are coming up in Spain as well and I am finding the Bilbao is a political hotbed of political activity. There are tons of political posters plastered all over the place, and most of the graffiti I have seen seems to be about fighting facism and basque pride. Last Thursday, valentines day, there was a call for a general strike. There are a couple Basque nationalist parties, and one party, the PNV was made illegal because it ... read more
The Assembly house
The Old Oak Tree
New Oak Tree

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Guernica June 6th 2007

MOTOTOUR 2007 Day 6: Dune du Pilat to Mundaka Distance: 328 km (of 8,667 km total) We woke up in a thick fog Most of the dune had totally disappeared in the clouds. Realizing we wouldn't be able to see much, we decided there was no point in climbing up this morning either. There was nothing to do but pack and leave for Spain. No stop in beautiful Biarritz either, since the weather wasn't that great. Then we thought we'd stop by in San Sebastian, but the weather was still not that great. Upon entering Spain, the scenery changed: We saw tightly-packed apartments, laundry spilling out of balconies and windows of high-rise apartments against the backdrop of the beautiful Pyrenees mountains. We kept on going until the weather cleared up and we ended up in Gernika ... read more
Village near Mundaka

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