Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
Trip End Oct 31, 2013

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Flag of Spain  , Cantabria,
Thursday, April 5, 2012

We explored the pretty town of Santona with a population of 12,000 people and enjoyed what we  saw. The weather has changed to cloudy, cool and wet and so we experience our second only really wet day in our time in Spain!

Sadly Kath got a serious bout of gastro-interitis but looking on the positive side, the time and place for this was right; we had the apartment to ourselves, we were not rushing anywhere and the weather encouraged you to be inside. We had central heating to keepus warm!

Not sure what brought the attack on but 24 hours later she was recovered to welcome our guests, Alfonso and Alberto, our friends from Madrid who drove up to spend the holidays with us in Santona.

They arrived just as the Holy Week procession was passing by, but were soon unpacked and enjoying a red wine!! We decided to dine in and we all put together a delicious spread and we appreciated the special chorizo made by Alberto's mum and other Spanish delicacies.

Bilboa and the Guggenhiem

The four of us excitedly, set off the following morning for the 70km drive to Bilbao; Bilbao once a grubby industrial city of 350,000 people is in a new phase ( we think of Burnie in Tasmania and its transformation) and the amazing Guggenheim Museum was part of this transformation.The city won the museum from lots of world-wide contenders and it opened in 1997; designed by Frank Gehry it is considered a masterpiece with its shiny shapes and flowing architecture and it was built in former industrial wasteland.

We had seen pictures and heard about it as a dont-miss site and as our GPS directed us into the city on a quiet Good Friday the building came into view and we were lucky to get a park right in front of the building across the river.

As we climbed the stairs of the walkway/bridge across the river we saw the building from all different angles and even though the day was cloudy it creates an overwhelming vision.

"The Puppy" was a surprise as we found our way to the front to get tickets. This 13 metre high terrier completely covered with growing pansies was on a world tour- Sheila remembers it in Sydney- but it never left Bilbao and stands proudly in front of his kennel - the Guggenheim!

Apparently queues of up to an hour can meet you here but on this Good Friday we were lucky and we were inside quickly and once again overwhelmed by the huge spaces, the amazing shapes and simple beauty.

A few good hours were spent looking at the exhibitions but hunger got the better of us and we made our way back to the car to collect our picnic; it was raining on and off but we found a sheltered area and bought a beer. We walked around Bilbao until 8pm, took a beer in a bar and headed back to Santona.

Time to eat pinxtos (tapas),drink red wine at Don Vino, Santona and then back to the apartment for more red wine and dessert!!

Bilbao is an interesting city and the Guggenheim, inside and out is a masterpiece!

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Maritza on

Sólo para que sepan que ví este lugar tán bello. Me alegré verlas
tán contentas con la compañía de Alfonso y Alberto. Besos,mami

alfonso on

Very professional blog, we are impressed....

Everything looks pretty, the procession in Santoña was a big surprise and it looks like a colorful parade in the pictures.

And Bilbao although it was a cloudy day, looks very interesting and artistic.

We took the right decision driving north for the Semana Santa and sharing time with two fantastic girls from down-under.

Thank you for the nice time together and enjoy the rest of your trip.

Kisses from Al & Al.

PS: Saludos a Mami en Puerto Rico y gracias por las morcillas de hace veinte años...

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