Blogs from Basque Country, Spain, Europe

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Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Bilbao August 17th 2015

So, with September approaching and the memories of my St Malo to Nice trip starting to fade, it seems like the Summer hasn't quite flourished in Scotland yet so I've decided it's probably time for another relaxing break. The whole guided cycling trip was great fun. but I thought I would try it on my own - unless someone else wants to come along for the ride... I've decided on Bilbao to Barcelona. Two cities that I love, and a route that Skedaddle do. This means that I can kind of copy their route knowing that there will be somewhere to stay at the end of each day, but with my own modifications as I'd like to revisit San Sebastian and Pamplona on the way. Logistics is a bit more difficult as there's no van to ... read more
Map of Route - North of Spain

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » San Sebastián July 30th 2015

After the earliest nights sleep last night (out for the count by half eight) you'd have thought we would have been up and at em by dawn. We weren't. Our journey to Spain began at a very civilised nine forty five and based on the fact that he has been rubbish, we put Simon to one side and relied on Gert the Google maps girl instead ( we later realised that the reason Simon wasn't working so well was that he needed an update so he may have a genuine reason for hating us!!!!!) The journey to San Sebastian was varied, traffic on the motorway meant that Gert told us we could have a sixteen minute faster journey through towns, villages and the actual back of beyond. We followed her advice through sunflower fields, pine forests ... read more

Europe » Spain » Basque Country June 10th 2015

Luzia and I tried to get going a little earlier this morning after a quick breakfast of yogurt and a pice of fruit saved from the night before. We crossed over the ancient roman bridge leading out of town - it's amazing to think of the people, animals, carts, etc. that have crossed this bridge over hundreds and hundreds of years! We met up with Phil, a very nice man from Washington State who I met on my first day on the Camino going up the dreaded Pyrenees. Phil is travelling with a good friend, Deb, as his wife's health prevents her from such long hikes. Phil and Deb got separated, so he continued to walk with Luzia and I. We encountered our first real rain in Spain - a fairly steady one that lasted most ... read more
Rainy Day in Basque Country
Familiar Streetscape
Entrance to Casa Magica

Europe » Spain » Basque Country June 9th 2015

After a peaceful night in my "pod", I left Pamplona around 9 a.m. - meeting up with Joe (from Ireland) and Luzia (from Ottawa). We walked together most of the day; stopping for a nice break at Zariquiegui for a bite. The view was lovely, as was the Nestea ( my favourite on a hot day : ). Joe continued on as he is a faster walker and Luzia and I walked on to cross between a line of giant wind turbines that stretched over the tops of the mountains. The turbines seemed so far away - it was hard to believe we were going to walk well beyond the windmills! The long, long climb up Alto del Perdon was rewarded with the well-known iron sculptures at the top of pilgrims (as seen in the movie, ... read more
Alto del Perdon
Getting Fresh ....
Pilgrim Tokens

Europe » Spain » Basque Country June 8th 2015

Set out at 9 a.m. to begin the walk to Pamplona. The day was shaping up to be another hot one, but luckily a fair amount of the way was shaded. I walked quite a bit on my own today which was peaceful. The walk itself was undulating with a few good climbs, but nothing compared to the first few days! Even when you think you are alone on the Camino, you always seem to meet up with someone along the way. I walked with a woman from Switzerland who lost her husband suddenly nine months ago, a couple of Spanish women from the previous hostel and I finished the journey to Pamplona with a nice woman, Ruth, from Ottawa. I had intended to stay at the Municipal hostel in Pamplona; however I met up with ... read more
The Long Road
Sad Reminder
Entrance to Pamplona

Europe » Spain » Basque Country June 7th 2015

Feeling quite good that the "dreaded" hike from St. Jean to Roncessvalles was behind me and I actually survived it without even getting a single blister, I looked forward to the walk to Zubiri. I set out with Rachel and Joe - both from Ireland - walking a kilometre or so before coming upon a lively cafe with many of our fellow "albergue mates" enjoying some coffee. We couldn't resist joining our new comrades and I had my first "cafe con leche" in Spain. After buying a "bocadillo" (sandwich) to carry for lunch, we set off. I was feeling pretty energetic and got ahead of my travelling mates. One of the great things about the Camino is that you meet people all of the time, walk with them for a bit, "lose" them and often hook ... read more
Breakfast of Champions
Cows and More Cows
Camino Marker

Europe » Spain » Basque Country June 6th 2015

After a pretty rough night in a room with 10 people and a couple of extra-loud snorers, I set off from Orisson in a misty rain and fog. This was actually brilliant as a) it was cool and b) you couldn't see much of the climb ahead until you were right into it : ). Once again, the climbing was slow and difficult, but the views were incredible! There were two "cols" on this hike (" the lowest point of a ridge between between two peaks") and the climb over each col was breathtaking! Walked with 2 Irish pilgrims and laughed a lot! After about 19 km of pretty demanding hiking, we reached Roncessvalles. The hostel is in an old monastery and it was pretty neat! The "dorms" slept about 75 people per dorm room, so ... read more
Col de Lepoeder
Help!
Climbing above the clouds

Europe » Spain » Basque Country June 4th 2015

It has been a long day of trains, Metro and a bus! Met a lovely young woman from Tahiti in the Hendeya train station - she is here studying Spanish. I gave her a Canadian pin and she gave me a string of shells from Tahiti : and so the goodwill of the Camino begins. Once I boarded the bus for St. Jean Pied-de-Port, you could feel the excitement as my fellow "pilgrims" began chatting happily with one another in many languages. Everyone is so friendly and equally "lost". Once we got off the bus at St. Jean, we travelled like a group of lemmings - trying to locate the Pilgrim Office. Received our pilgrim "passport" from the very friendly staff in the office and then proceeded to look for a hostel for the night. Met ... read more
Pilgrim Office in St. Jean Pied-de-Port
Citadelle, St. Jean Pied-de-Port

Europe » Spain » Basque Country » Getaria May 31st 2015

We arrived at our apartment in Croix de Chavaus, Montreal. Paris. A easy ride on the metro to the centre of Paris or about 4 Klm walking, which many evening we walked back to the small Boheme apartment, a kitchen bathroom, bedroom and studio lounge and dine. Damè Feeling quite happy with ourselves with the choice in area and accommodation, we started to tick of the list of attractions we wanted to see, the Effie Tower, Louvres, Palace of Versailles the Grand Palaces of Paris, the walks along the Seine River and the countless bridges along its banks and Notre Damè. Not all the fountains were working, I think due to the time of the year still spring, but never the less Paris didn't disappoint in grandeur, and in beauty. We visited Jim Morrison's grave in ... read more
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Paris, France
Paris, France




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