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Our Trip to Spain (2006)

On our way from France to Portugal we stopped in a town called Aranda de Duero in Spain. We stayed at an Hostal 10 km east of town. It's a cheap kind of motel around 40 euros per night. They are very good for the price. At night we were bored we decided to visit the town. I was really surprised by the old quarters of the town of Aranda. There is an amazing church called Santa Marķa de Aranda de Duero. The plaza major was a great place for a meal for a coffee or ice cream. It's fun to watch people walking around and children playing in this historical Plaza. There is a joy felt in everybody that frequents it. Well worth visiting.

When you drive in your way to Valladolid going west on the n122 you drive by the town of Penafiel. They have an outstanding white castle on a hilltop. From Penafiel we made our way to Salamanca usually the last major city in Spain before we reach Portugal. We usually enter Portugal through Vilar Formosa. What a joy when we reach the country. We stopped at a restaurant, the food is so much better in Portugal. Although I had an excellent lamb leg in Spain. First meal in Portugal, bacalhau.

After our holidays were over, we had to go through Spain again. We visited Braganca and we left Portugal in the village of Portelo, I had my last Portuguese expresso. Adeus Portugal. In Spain we stayed at a hotel called La Polloza. It was located on the Autovilla Castilla, Nacional 620. We paid only 30 euros. Our breakfast was an extra four euros. The place was near Burgos. I had a chat with the lady there, but she spoke so fast, I had to ask politely to slow down. After being rested we made our way to San Sebastian. We stopped in a village for a quick lunch a beautiful place, but I forgot the name. The old part of town had a great historical church.

On our way to San Sebastian we also went through an area called desfiladero de Pancorbo it's in a chain of mountain near Burgos called the Montes Obarenes. It's very spectacular. We stopped by the road to take some pictures. There was a bell on top of a small hill. The bell is called "campana de la Virgen del Camino". There is very ancient monuments, bridges and more. By the bell there is an old refuge for travellers. That virgen bell, may be there as a sign of protection for the travellers.

We finally arrived in the Basque country, we visited this majestic resort in the Basque country. The town of San Sebastian has around 200 000 people. One of the challenges in July is to find parking. I drove back and forth across the Zurriola bridge to find a spot. I finally came back to the underground parking and waited for somebody to leave thta is the common thing to do, but I did not know. I was so relieved to have a spot. We started walking near the Vieja Parte the old town. We had a small meal there. My meat was a bit salty. I did not go to fancy restaurants since we were not that hungry and we wanted to get to France before it got too late. I did not want to spend a fortune either. San Sebastian is supposed to be the capital of culinary art in the Basque country. I was a bit disappointed that we did not get to experience their best food. They are also famous for their tapas. We went near the port, but we missed their famous beaches. I think we could not see that two km beach from the port, la playa Concha. We had some difficulty getting out of town with all the traffic. We headed to Biarritz.

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Castle in Penafiel
Castle in Penafiel

Isabelle in San Sebastian, Spain by the Rio Urumea
Isabelle in San Sebastian, Spain by the Rio Urumea

Bahia de la Concha , and Isla de Santa Clara
Bahia de la Concha , and Isla de Santa Clara

Isabelle sitting with the port of San Sebastian behind
Isabelle sitting with the port of San Sebastian behind

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Isabelle near Pancorbo, the spectacular Montes Obarenes behind
Isabelle near Pancorbo, the spectacular Montes Obarenes behind

Desfiladero de Pancorbo with the bell on the left
Desfiladero de Pancorbo with the bell on the left

Isabelle in front of the Zurriola beach
Isabelle in front of the Zurriola beach

Isabelle by tht Basilica de Santa Maria del Coro
Isabelle by tht Basilica de Santa Maria del Coro

Isabelle in a animated old street, Parte Vieja San Sebastian
Isabelle in a animated old street, Parte Vieja San Sebastian