basque country the coast was another great surprise. we had decided upon a chilled city break in bilbao. but my boyfriend made a midnight spur-of-the-moment decision to rent a car. so he drove 400 kilometers in the following 2 days. but we were so not sorry: the basque country is un-fucking-believably beautiful!
san juan de gaztelugatxe was the closest to bilbao so also our first destination. i can spell it now by heart which is a teeny tiny victory since most of the basque names had me totally confused lol. we only climbed down to the mirador, we did not go all the way to the peninsula. that takes a theoretical one hour climb down and then up so beware. we did not have the time, we were in a hurry to reach a nearby town.
we picked up an old lady on our way to bermeo. she told us all about her sons, the death of her husband before they made it to their golden wedding and her beloved hens. she was very nice and asked us to drop her at the market (on the left of the pic below).
bermeo is beautiful. we had a few pintxos in the drizzle, on the side of the delightful marina.
my favourite was the black one: bonito con cebolla, a delicious mix of white fish and vinegared onion! but all were great, food is rarely regrettable in spain.
next was mundaka. we parked at the edge of the town, 1 minute away from the sea. i went down to the water and watched minuscule crabs scouring away from my footsteps. but i could catch a pic of this big one under the rocks. can you spot it?
this is the chapel of santa catalina and it’s located on the homonym peninsula.
and this is our only friend in town: a wonderful young mare who ate the entire apple i had brought as a snack. only after she was done she allowed me to pet her with my sticky fingers.
the town is located on the sea end of the urdaibai estuary you can see below.
this is the town as seen from the sea.
i love how the sea comes all the way into the old city in this picture. we walked around, talked to a few local cats and then left.
we ran into castillo arteaga by mistake. nowadays, it houses a fancy hotel and a restaurant.
back on the coast, trying to reach the teeny tiny elantxobe. it was the perfect quiet place for an ice-cream break in the marina. this is one of those majical places i will day dream about later.
a while ago, i found this video on the internet. since there was no planning for this day trip, i was not aware that i could have seen this engineering highlight. next time…
the road to our next stop took us up a hill. you’d say you get tired of this coast scenery. but no, you don’t.
these warrior caterpillars were only to be found on nettle. i looked it up and they will later transform into peacock butterflies.
back on the coast, we stopped to see the faro de santa catalina.
have you ever seen a rainbow ball? me neither.
here we are in our last stop for the day, lekeitio.
this is the isla de san nicolas.
it started raining, so we went for a few pintxos in a place in front of the basilica de lekeitio, a large gothic cathedral. and then we drove back to bilbao.
i’ll post tomorrow what happened next. stay tuned!
photo credits: little aesthete