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.