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Somewhere in Spain

A bit sad to leave Bilbao… But we had to go and see more things in Spain. So firstly the wonderful highways.

Beautiful views on the way to Santander. The city is very special because it burned down in 1941… not because of the war but strong winds that started spreading a fire. Today a very beautiful Spanish city with its cathedral.

Santander is not only the cathedral. The city is very nice indeed and we enjoyed going round and watching beautiful houses.

From Santander it’s only 25 minutes to the very highlight in this part of Spain – Santillana.

And lunch of course – so Spanish.

And then we drove not so far away but on small roads and it took some time.

So we came to our hotel in Potes – in the middle of nowhere but in Spain anyway. Beautiful little town. We really enjoyed the afternoon here.

Bilbao

A whole day in Bilbao means only one thing: Guggenheim. It must be the most important Guggenheim in the world – New York can go asleep, sorry. It was about 15 minutes from our hotel to go there.

The Guggenheim museum is magic outside. Even if it rained a bit.

 

The temporary Chagall exhibition was probably the best thing to see. We really enjoyed those paintings made in Witebsk.

 

So outside the museum – two famous animals.

 

After the museum it was time to enjoy all beautiful houses in Bilbao.

So all the beautiful streets.

IMG_1019And finally back in the old town. It was our second day in the beautiful Bilbao. Hope to come back again.

Bilbao

Why did I love the word BILBAO  in whole my life? Maybe because of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht song? Anyway so exciting to come to Bilbao and come to Spain which is completely new for us. But… we started in fact in Biarritz – France and we really tried to find an easy parking – but no. Biarritz is beautiful anyway – take a look at our two pictures below.

After about two-hour drive we were at our hotel in Bilbao. We got a beautiful room with a big terrace so we can celebrate the “white nights in Bilbao” both today and tomorrow.

Directly from the hotel to find a good place for lunch. And we found it – it was paella of course – one of our favorite dishes.

IMG_0912 We went around in the old town watching  beautiful houses and the old cathedral.

Leaving the old town we suddenly found a very exciting place – the market hall with thousands of interesting fishes, people and food. A local old man wanted to speak with us in English and it was  very  exciting.

After the market hall we enjoyed the new part of Bilbao.

And Friday party afternoon in the city.

IMG_0961.JPGAnd tomorrow Bilbao – day 2. You know what is the biggest attraction here? Tell me.  Otherwise we will tell you tomorrow….

Bayonne – it cannot be nearer to Spain

For us – totally new regions. Today we came to the Basque country which associates to war and terror as I remember it in the 1970s when I was child and watching TV news. Today a very nice region with all peace and freedom. Anyway we started in the morning from Bordeaux and it took some time to get out of the city. But then we found right way.

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We came to Bayonne quite early so we did not get the room at our hotel directly. We went to the old town for lunch instead. And it was already a feeling of being partly in France and partly in Spain. It is always so exciting to be in an area near a border.

Wonderful lunch with god white wine and lots of Spanish music in the background. Great feeling. After it short sight-seeing in the town which is really beautiful. Check the pictures below.

Bayonne is world-famous for its ham – Bayonne ham and of course you can buy it everywhere.

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So we bought some art in Bayonne from the painter himself. So beautiful colors – we have to find a good place for it on a wall at home.

So 3 p.m. we were back at the hotel for check-in. The swimming pool looks nice but it is not warm here at all and jumping from the fifth floor is quite dangerous.

Bayonne has of course a museum of ham…

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The siesta time in France means that everything is closed between 12 am and 3 pm. So it was with the cathedral of Bayonne. But we got back there passing by some beautiful houses in quite a Spanish style.

The Cathedral of Bayonne is really beautiful – constructed in the 13th century it features windows from 15th century.

Then we went from Grand Bayonne to Petit Bayonne on the other side of the river. We enjoyed the Petit Bayonne and the wine rosé and the dog working at a nice brasserie and la madame who sang and… really everything.

And FINALLY – I love this – the French way of parking car – this is the picture of the day.

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Bordeaux – we love you

So after two days in Bordeaux we can say – we love you. Watch only this nice picture below – what a positive feeling.

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(Any comments our dear friends in Australia – Mr Ian and Ian?).

But we started at the beautiful parade square – Place de la Bourse – the magnificent landmark with 18th century buildings surrounding.

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On the other side there is famous Mirror d’eau – Mirror of water – a reflective shallow water pool.

In the evening we found a wonderful French restaurant just around the corner from our hotel. The bistro  was wonderful so we decided to have our both dinners during our stay in Bordeaux there.

Wednesday we started with a sight-seeing tour by a little bus.

We rood it for more than 60 minutes and saw the most important spots in Bordeaux. The city is very interesting and it has a lot of beautiful places to see – here are some of them.

And of course the bridge of Pierre – the most important bridge in Bordeaux constructed during the Napoleon time – completed in 1822. It has 17 arches – the same number as the letters in Napoleon Bonaparte’s name.

And I found my own shop in Bordeaux. Some of you who read it knows what I mean but if you don’t do – do not care. Not so important.

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This wonderful Parking house… a piece of French modern art…

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So we paid a visit at the St Michel quarter with completely different feeling and of course the beautiful St Michel church, which was closed today.

Cathedral Saint André is the most important cathedral in Bordeaux – very impressive. We took a look.

I prefer though the Notre Dame cathedral which is really very different and beautiful – take a look.

Stefan wanted to go one more time to see the beautiful Monument aux Girondins – a fountain monument with many unusual details honoring the Girondins – French Revolution martyrs.

And finally about the most important place in the Bordeaux region – the Bar a Vin de la Maison – a wonderful place where you can taste local wines. We were there both on Tuesday and Wednesday and tasted in several hours…

So it was two days in Bordeaux and I am sure we will come back here one day – maybe very soon – who knows. We really enjoyed the city but we have to move on and tomorrow we go to the capital of ham – Bayonne.

The blog is back tomorrow – if everything works.

Little French pearls

There was no blog yesterday but the old man owning the hotel in Bergerac had a bad Wifi connection. So today a double blog featuring lots of beautiful pictures from beautiful places we visited since we left Figeac. Monday was a day without highways – only small roads witch made that the distance of 166 kilometers took a whole day.

The first beautiful place on the Earth was the town of Rocamadour. The old pilgrim village with the Black Madonna chapel has become more of a tourist village today even if we noticed some pilgrims praying in front of the Black Madonna.

Next pearl in the middle of nowhere is the medieval town of Domme – concentrated round three streets with lots of small shops and restaurants. There is a nice church there and a beautiful view.

After a delicious lunch at a local brasserie we continued to La Roque Gageac and Beynac – two beautiful villages.

So our final destination on Monday was the town of Bergerac. There is nothing special about this town but it is quite nice and has a lot of beautiful old houses in the old town district. We were strolling round enjoying a glas of white wine in the sun.

Tuesday morning was very rainy in the Bordeaux region but as soon as we arrived in St. Emilion the rain disappeared and the sun came out. St Emilion is a kind of wine capital in the Bordoeaux region. The town is very beautiful and there is wine everywhere. We really enjoyed being there and and where our favorite Bordeaux wines come from.

We came to Bordeaux before lunch time. Finally, as we had planned visiting the city already 3 years ago. But now we are here and we are staying for two days so I hope we will see a lot.