We drive 3 hours to Bilbao. It is interesting to see the Spanish side of the Pyrenees.
It takes approximately thirty days to walk through the mountains from France to Spain. Many many tourists come precisely for this hike. I am happy to be in a vehicle although for all of us who complain about the price of gas….it is 1.30 Euros per liter here!! That is about $1.90 per liter!!!!!
And……at every few km we keep paying tolls! Our trip today costs 24 Euro just in tolls! $ 36.00. Same the other day when we went to St Jean de Luz.
I am sitting in the back seat and it seems all I do is reach for my wallet 😉
We continue to be in Basque Country so the Spanish language is a little different as it is in Basque dialect. My friend speaks Basque Dialect so we do well to find our way to the Guggenheim Museum which is our destination today.
The Basques country can sometimes bear witness to violence and uprising as they are intent on being their own nation. I.e. They wish to separate from Spain. This my friend tells me is the reason why “La Policia” are so intimidating. They stand with legs spread apart mirror sun glasses and their hand on their machine guns ready to fire. Seriously! Even when just guarding a parking lot. There is some sort of festival this evening and La Policia is ready. They certainly are vehicle security conscious as the law demands that each car has at least 3 orange or yellow vests (in case of an emergency) and the vests must be visible as car drives by.
Another super hot sunny day. When we come out of the museum a number of the shops are closed as it is siesta time. On our way back we stop in at Pamplone where there is the annual running of the bulls. Thankfully this is not taking place today. We purchase cold beer and perfume at “Pepe’s” 🙂
Yesterday it rained. We went to a gigantic flea market. I have been searching for a little something for myself, a souvenir from France and was delighted to unearth an authentic Limoges , made in France Porcelain cup and saucer for 1 Euro! 🙂
We say goodbye to another friend thanks to which I am now carting around a bottle of Peach Wine which she made and which I am not to open until December.
We eat lunch at my friend’s parents. They are both in their 80s and hardly changed from when I saw them 19 years ago!! R’s father has a vineyard and is still making “Madiran”. He still wears his Bearn Beret and is quite adorable.
Of course we eat and eat and drink Madiran.
My daughter is slowly becoming French as she eats foie gras and duck as if she had done it all her life.
Tonight just as we are going to bed we hear booms like thunder and in fact it is fireworks as the village of L’Escale where we are staying is celebrating the village. How perfect for our last night here! 🙂
We share a tearful goodbye at Pau train station. My suitcase got heavier again as I am slipped the obligatory Madiran Wine gift.
Stay tuned for the next installment…