North America, Europe · 26 Days · 48 Moments · June 2017

Gigi & Chase's Adventures in Spain 2017

19 July 2017

Day 20 - last day of our travel adv; spent our last day in Dublin; Guinness was so good (unlike the US); fish n chips and oysters also delicious. Spain didnt disapp. Many faves. Here are just a few: 1) Pintxos in Bilbao; such a great city with outstanding gastronomy! Small w/ both new and old feel. We loved the Unamuno Miguel Plaza to have cafe con leche or clara con limon and our AirBnB was awesome! 2) Getaria-the fish...the fish! Views incl view from our room of the Saiaz Getaria were lovely; 3) Hondarribia -beautiful Parador w/ awesome patio to have drinks with breathtaking views of the French border; 4)Guardia - of course, having La Rioja wine in the cellar; walled medieval village with no cars!! 5) Showaround App that connected us with a local made our visits so much more interesting and fun We LOVE Spain and will return soon 😉 "We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” Saludos!

16 July 2017

Day 18 & 19 in Cangas de Onis - sadly our last two days in Spain. Took a stroll around this quaint town that really makes you feel like you are living in the middle ages. Cangas de Onis is located in the Cantabria region of Spain. Until 774, Cangas de Onís was the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias. It was the site of the first church constructed in post-conquest Iberia, Santa Cruz de Cangas de Onís (737).
Day 18 in Cangas de Onis - arrived to our final destination on our travel adventure of Spain at the lovely Casa de Marques
Day 18 - adios Parador de Cangas de Onis; we do enjoy the history of the paradores

15 July 2017

Day 17 in Cangas de Onis - the banks of the Sella River, surrounded by the spectacular Picos de Europa mountains, tonight we stay at the Parador de Cangas de Onís. The hotel was an old monastery, the San Pedro de Villanueva Monastery.
Day 17 - on our way to our next stay; we stopped at the Jurassic Museum and then to a sanctuary in the mountains of Covadonga. Covadonga is the place where the Re-conquest began under king Pelayo, whose remains are buried in the cave alongside La Santina. This is the gateway to the Picos de Europa National Park. The basilica, alongside the cave where pilgrims venerate the statue of La Santina, is a place of worship and pilgrimage for the people of Asturias. The basilica is in neo-Romanesque style, with two high towers flanking the main entrance. I was even able to get a photo with a father in it 😄😁😀

14 July 2017

Day 16 in Oviedo - Our last day here and it was a great one. After visiting Cathedral Beach, we drove up to Monte Naranco which brought amazing views of Oviedo and to a statue of Christ (similar to the one in Brazil). You may wonder why Oviedo has a statue of Woody Allen. Allen expressed a particular affection for Oviedo when filming here for his 2008 film Vicky Cristina Barcelona, describing the city as a fairy tale. Cachopo is a dish characteristic to Asturian cuisine. It consists of two large veal or thin steak fillets and includes ham and cheese! The dish is eaten fried and hot after being breaded in eggs and breadcrumbs. Yum!
Day 16 - Took a drive out to Galicia to Praia de Augas Santas, also known as Cathedral Beach. Constant pounding from the Atlantic Ocean has sculpted these amazing rock formations which can only be seen at low tide. It was a tremendous sight!!

13 July 2017

Day 15 in Oviedo - Oviedo is a town in northwest Spain between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Bay of Biscay. The capital of Asturias, it’s known for its medieval old town, the site of the Gothic Oviedo Cathedral with its 9th-century Holy Chamber. The weather in Asturias is much cooler but you can feel the humidity!

12 July 2017

Day 14 - León, a city on the Bernesga River in northwest Spain, is the capital of the Province of León. It’s home to many churches and cathedrals noted for their architecture and art. Among them is the Gothic 13th-century Catedral de Léon. The Romanesque 10th-century Basílica de San Isidoro is known for its frescoes and royal tombs. This parador is def one of our favs 🤣😁😀

11 July 2017

Day 13 in Burgos- stayed in an old monastary converted into a hotel. Really nice stay. Today we visited the Burgos Cathedral - designated an UNESCO world heritage, the construction of the cathedral began in the 13th C. and lasted for centuries; dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the cathedral is also the burial place of Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar ("El Cid"), and his wife Doña Jimena. The cathedral has several chapels are dedicated to various saints and each is ornate in its own style..truly a remarkeable site. We spent two hours viewing all the chapels and the magnificant cloisters where tombs of nobility and religious could be found.

10 July 2017

Day 12 in Burgos - a provincial capital in Spain’s autonomous community of Castile and León, is marked by its intact medieval architecture. Its most recognizable landmark is the French Gothic Cathedral of St. Mary, whose 3 main doorways are flanked by ornamented bell towers. Inside is the Chapel of Condestable, decorated with figures of saints, and the tomb of El Cid (Rodrigo Díaz de Vivar), the 11th-century military commander. Saw a few peregrinos...missing the camino.

8 July 2017

Day 10 & 11 - founded in the 10th century as a defense town for the kingdom of Navarra, this beautiful walkeable town (no cars allowed) is located on a hill overlooking the vineyards with the Cantaribian Mountains in the background. We love the vibe here!!!
Day 10 in Lagaurdia - one of our favorite hotels so far -Hospederia Los Parajes. What makes it one of our favs? It is set in a beautifully kept 13th century fortified town and has a medieval feel with beautiful beamed ceilings and tasteful deco. There is an amazing spa and wine bar in the basement (caves).

6 July 2017

Day 8 & 9 in Argomaniz - Argomaniz is a small village in the Basque provence of Alava (there are 3 provences including Gipuzkoa and Biscay) and is also about 15 min from the capital of the Basque country, Vitoria-Gasteiz. These 2 days were devoted to rest from induldging these past 7 days. So we mostly stayed in...ate and drank on the patio and napped a lot 😊😉😆 We must admit that Vitoria was not one of our faves...was filled with graffiti and really not much to see. We are surprised that it is the capital!!!

5 July 2017

Day 7 Tour Part 4 - San Sebastián is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque bayfront promenade, Michelin star restaurants helmed by innovative chefs and Pintxos galore! After a day of walking and sheep herding this was a great way to end our day! INDULGE! Oh my tummy 😂😂😂
Day 7 Day Tour Part 3 -sagardotegi means cider house in Basque. Basque fishermen were large consumers of cider both when at sea and on dry land. In traditional sagardotegis, each guest receives a glass and at various intervals the word "txox!" is yelled. Everyone who wants cider runs/walks to the barrel room. The large barrels, which are stored horizontally, have a small tap in the lid at about head-height. This is opened by the innkeeper or the first guest to reach the barrel and a thin stream of cider flows out which is when you catch the cider with your glass as low down as possible to aerate the cider. People then return to their tables to continue with their meal and cider until the next "txotx!!" is called. Txotx means toothpick - they used it to close the hole in the barrel but now they use a tap. It was so much fun! We got to hang out with people from around the world along with locals😊
Day 7 Day Tour out of Hondarribia Part 2 - next stop in French Basque Saint-Jean de Luz. This small town, located in the traditional Basque province of Labourd, has the only sheltered bay between Spain and Bordeaux.  As a consequence, the town reached a prosperity peak in the 17th century because of its fishing, trading and piracy industries. Saint-Jean-de-Luz is known for being the marriage site of Louis XIV to Maria Theresa, the Infanta of Spain.  The royal wedding was one of the clauses of the Franco-Spanish Treaty of the Pyrenees. The market was fantastic with chorizo and other local meats, cheeses, and fresh fish 🍞🥐🥖🧀
Day 7 Day Tour out of Hondarribia Part 1 - We began our full day tour with a lovely older retired couple from Barcelona and our guide, Kepa (Peter in English). First stop was in Biarritz which was about 30 min from Hondarribia. Biarritz is known for its beach scene.🏊🕶👙 Interesting fact: Notice the church with the model ship suspended from the ceiling to pray for the fishermen.
Day 7 view of sunrise from our parador de Hondarribia window 😎

4 July 2017

Day 6 in Hondarribia - Not only is Hondarribia one of the Basque Country’s most charming towns but it is also packed with a huge number of amazing restaurants and bars – some of the very best in the region. The well-preserved Old Town, a relaxing maritime atmosphere and fantastic food are only some of the reasons why Hondarribia is one of our favorite places in the region. Look at that amazing view from our parador!!
Day 6 in Hondarribia - Staying at this amazing Parador de Hondarribia. lt is also known as the Castle of Charles V, its construction dates to the 10th century. Feels as if we are in an authentic medieval fortress. 😀 The stone walls that frame the courtyard, arches, wrought iron and coffered ceilings!! I'm just missing my medieval gown 🤗 The views of the coast of France from our guest room and the terrace complete the indescribable beauty of this place !! 😁😄😃

3 July 2017

Day 5 in Getaria - our final night; had a wonderful stay.
Day 5 in Getaria - More more more fab food and drink!!!!!
Day 5 in Getaria - Hiked to Zarautz today. Zarautz is a coastal beach town located in central Gipuzkoa, in Spain. It is bordered by Aia to the east and the south and Getaria to the west. The small town of Zarautz is mainly known for one thing – its 2.5 km long beach known for being the longest in the Basque Country. Also known as “the queen of the beaches,” it has been attracting beachgoers since the 19th century when Queen Isabella II of Spain chose Zarautz as her summer getaway destination. Soon after, many aristocrats followed and they built their mansions along the beach. You had one of our faves on the beach...Clara con Limon which is called "Pika" in Basque😄

2 July 2017

Day 4 in Getaria - We just caught the sun setting and shining on Zarautz. So beautiful!
Day 4 in Getaria - 9:45 pm sunset.
Day 4 Getaria - hhhhh...the food....the food...the sparkling....the sparkling...the txakoli...the txakoli...magnificent!!!!!!!
Day 4 in Getaria - Hike up San Anton mountain - takes its name from an ancient hermitage, which was located near the actual lighthouse before it was destroyed by the French in the first half of 19th century. It was a privileged vantage point to see whales, whose capture was one of the jobs of people from this town. This island was intentionally attached to the port in the 15th century. The breakwater was given the name of "The Passage" in order to complete the construction of a small harbor for the mountain-island, replacing the old rocky ridge that had been destroyed by a storm.
Day 4 in Getaria - known for being Juan Sebastián Elcano’s hometown, a seaman well-known for being the first man to circumnavigate the earth. He was captain of the Nao Victoria, the one ship in Magellan's ill-fated fleet which completed the voyage. Getaria is also famous for its restaurants serving grilled fish and a white wine with a protected designation of origin which is cultivated in the surroundings of this coastal town and takes the name of Getariako Txakolina. The fish was F $!%@& mouth watering delicious. Meaty and tender...I can't explain how good it was. You will just have to travel to Getaria 😘😚😙😗
Day 4 in Getaria - Amazing view from our new temp home in Getaria!!

1 July 2017

Day 3 in Bilbao - Last night in Bilbao. We definitely recommend a visit! It was lovely. People are friendly, town is clean, great food, and awesome nightlife for all ages - whether it's sitting and having txokoli and pintxos or listening to music. We especially loved the old town of Casco Viejo. Next stop...Getaria.🤗😁🚗
Day 3 in Bilbao - food crawl taken to a higher level!!!!!!!!+
Day 3 in Bilbao - So cheap!!!
Day 3 in Bilbao - More delicious pintxos!!!
Day 3 in Bilbao - Bermeo and Gernika - With a population of 17,159, it is the most important fishing port in the Basque Country. The town was founded in 1236, and is the largest in Busturialdea. Bermeo was the provincial capital of Biscay from 1476 to 1602. Gernika is best known as the scene of the April 26, 1937, Bombing of Guernica, one of the first aerial bombings by Nazi Germany's Luftwaffe. It inspired the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso.
Day 3 in Bilbao - Gaztelugatxe is an islet on the coast of Biscay. On top of the island is a hermitage dedicated to John the Baptist, that dates from the 10th century. Cool thing to know is that HBO filmed scenes for season 7 of Game of Thrones at the islet. Many of the cast were seen hanging out in Bilbao and was also seen at Mina, the gastronomic restaurant we ate at our first night here 🤗
Day 2 ib Bilbao - OMG amazing pintxos tour...great food and drink!! We enjoyed our time with Patrizia. More like hanging out with a good friend sharing good food and wine then a tour. 🍲🍳🍷🍽 And the calamari...aaaaahhhh...the best EVER!!!! So fresh. We have been spoiled.

30 June 2017

Day 2 in Bilbao- We found the Michelin star restaurant supplier!
Day 2 in Bilbao- We had a great time learning all about Bilbao with Miren. Love the new app...Showaround!! Our time with Miren was free!!!!!!!
Day 1 in Bilbao- MINA is a gastronomic restaurant located in the heart of Bilbao. Only 25 per service allows the chef to take care of their guests. It was exceptional!
Day 1 in Bilbao.

29 June 2017

Day 1 in Bilbao - Clara con limon por favor! Actually called "Pika" in Basque Country 😉
Day 0 - green! Connecting flight to Bilbao! Almost there 😘😍😉
Day 0 - Ahhhhh...sunset in the clouds.
Day 0 - Enjoying cava and celebrating our upcoming 6 yr wedding anniversary, 17 yrs of love, 3rd travel adventure to Spain, and a well deserved rest from work. Wishing you all were here but you are here in spirit!! 🍾🥂🍷😘😍❤💙 Salud...ching ching.
Day 0 - The Earth is absolutely breathtaking from up here. I took these after takeoff as we flew over Sacramento.

23 June 2017

Day 0 - Today was hubby's last day of work! Vacation officially begins. Stay tuned!