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Spain – Day 4: Azpeitia to Cangas de Onis

Did you ever notice there doesn’t seem to be as great of a penalty on staying up late and drinking substantial amounts of alcohol when you’re on vacation. I guess the excitement and anticipation of a new day’s adventures helps suppress fatigue and any background pounding of one’s head.

Our hotel in Azpeitia (meaning ‘down the rock’ in Basque) appeared to be a centuries old converted family home run by a brother and sister with the help of other family members. The dining area, with stone arches, the kitchen, bar and reception were on the ground floor with six to eight rooms above, including living quarters for family members.  The two mornings we were there, “Grandma” made us scrambled eggs, special we suspect for us Americans. So after an enjoyable hotel breakfast on the second morning we packed our rental car for the Azpeitia to Cangas de Onis leg of  journey.

For this trip, a day of driving, even when defined with definite starting and ending points, always included a measure of meandering along the way.  Cathedrals, churches and monasteries always caught our attention not only for their rich history but also their wonderful architecture.

One such place was the Sanctuary of Loyola, birthplace of Ignatius’ of Loyola a Spanish knight from a local Basque noble family, hermit, priest, and theologian, who founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits).

Our next unplanned stop was Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain, home of the Guggenheim Museum.  Sadly, we had not planned the extra time required for touring the Guggenheim exhibits, so we could only enjoy its architecture from the outside  and some of the lovely city of Bilbao.

Bilbao looked like it would be a lovely place to live — with an university, a nationally renowned museum, a beautiful winding river and many parks.

Of course our view of Bilbao was through a tourist/visitors filter.  A local might talk of the heavy traffic or of having to put up with all the visitors crowding the local shops below.

The remainder of day was spent on a narrow and twisty mountain road with few places to stop and the only moving car window photo opportunities being almost straight up.  From the  drivers point of view, this was the most stressful section of the trip, but we did reach Cangas de Onis safely.

10 Comments on Spain – Day 4: Azpeitia to Cangas de Onis

  1. Another enjoyable series and stoŕy. Seems you are touring as I would. Love the older architecture over the more modern aa it just speaks to me differently. I also am amazed at how they were able to build these and how long they have lasted. The first image of the wall of the museum blew me away. Love it. We’ll done, again.

    • Monte, thanks. I think it was a tour you’d have enjoyed…very relaxed and low pressure…four of us for 10 days and not a harsh word…for the most part. ;-)

  2. The dining room looks like a wonderful spot for a meal, Earl. And the monastery looks like a beautiful place. The views of the Gugenheim look very much like some of my own shots of buildings here in Charlotte and elsewhere. Bilbao looks like the kind of place where it would be easy to spend some time. Yet another very nice series!
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  3. Paul Maxim // 8 Aug ’14 at 7:04 am // Reply

    Another set of fine images, Earl. The restaurant picture looks remarkably like an establishment I once visited in France, although it wasn’t attached to a hotel. But it was similar in that it was a cave-like place in a very old building. Remarkably expensive, too (good thing it was a business trip!).

    I also like the image of the man walking toward the arch-like structure. There has to be some kind of interesting symbolism there, huh?

    And of course the interior church pictures. I never tire of looking at – or taking – these kinds of images. You can actually feel the history, I think. Were these handheld? I’m guessing it was darker in there than it looks.

    • Paul, funny, but we only had breakfast in the hotel restaurant. We were away doing other things at dinner time the two nights we stayed here. I think this one was reasonably price and kinda Spain home style cooking.

      I’m sure there was some definite symbolism of the statue of the man walking toward the arch, at least in the mind of the artist. We were captivated by it but I honestly can’t profess to understand exactly what it means!

      I did “lighten” the interior church photos a little. All photos taken handheld…didn’t even bring a tripod or monopod. The Olympus 4/3 is better in low light then it’s given credit for.

  4. Very nice set here Earl. I was also particularly drawn to the man and the cutout, the architectural patterns, and that dining room looks very familiar to me. I think the construction of it is very similar to a place I stayed at in Prague once.

  5. Another engaging instalment Earl. I am so enjoying this. Like Mark and Paul I like your image of the walking man sculpture. It’s a Casto Solano sculpture. It is political in nature as the man represents a politician (famous in the Basque region) and the cut out archway represents a door or portal for those who are honoured. Or something along those lines.
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    • Cedric, thanks for the information about the Casto Solano sculpture. To be honest, I’d been lazy about doing research on it (shame on me) but your explanation of it certainly adds up from what I know of the Basque region.

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